Earthworks- curb cuts
Sidewalk strip water harvesting
- Goals: To harvest street runoff, prevent stormwater pollution, and irrigate plants.
- Site description: Wide sidewalk strip. Street graded towards sidewalks. Hot, arid climate, typical monsoon rains in the summer.
One thing that makes the curb cuts really work here in Tucson is that most streets don’t have storm drains so the streets flood during heavy rains. If you had a storm drain at every corner there likely wouldn’t be enough accumulation of runoff to be worth it.– Tucson resident.
- Cost: Saw rental: $70 Blade: $100 new (for future cutting projects), or $50 rented from store. Total: $170
- Designed by: home owner
Prior to cutting the curb was marked with a sharpie using curb cut guidelines from the City of Tucson.
A concrete saw was rented to make the cuts. A garden hose adds water to keep the blade and cement wet for the cuts.
Runoff water will pool into the basin and slowly sink into the ground after the rain. In the first image the mulch has not been added yet nor planted. The basin in the second image has just been planted. The young plants will fill out over time.
- Specifications and Notes: Unexpected things… The hand-held concrete saw cannot make very shallow angled cuts since the body of the saw interferes with the curb. Because some of the cuts are rough there may be a need to go back over the rough edges with an abrasive wheel on a grinder to buff them.
- Maintenance and trouble shooting: Newly planted basins will need supplemental irrigation until they are established. Mulch may need occasional replacement.