The Hermiston Street Department is taking reservations to convert roadside grass swales into rock on residential and commercial properties in Summer 2023.
Grass swales are the sunken areas adjacent to roadways and are an important part of the city’s stormwater retention infrastructure. Residents wishing to convert swales from grass to rock in front of their homes must have a street department crew complete the work.
“The grassy swale system has been a critical part of our infrastructure to handle stormwater runoff and meet state environmental standards since the late 1990s, but we also know that many homeowners really dislike the physical design of having what amounts to a ditch right where passengers are exiting vehicles from the street,” said Hermiston Assistant Manager Mark Morgan. “We’re happy to now be able to offer a rock-based design which still meets environmental standards and can handle runoff while creating a flat surface that is more user-friendly for homeowners and businesses.”
Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis and require a $250 deposit that is credited toward the final cost of the project. The city hopes to complete as many as 50 conversions this summer.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining swales but are not allowed under city ordinance to replace them independently. Properly converting a grass swale to rock creates a level surface while maintaining adequate water collection and drainage.
For more information about swale replacement or to reserve a spot for work this summer, call 541-667-5025.