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Metro Installs V-Pan to Divert Storm Water from Backyards

This v-pan behind the homes on Arco Iris Lane diverts runoff away from residents’ backyards below.  Castle Pines North Metro District Parks and Open Space Manager Charlie Fagan stands on the berm and shows how the vpan diverts runoff behind Arco Iris Lane. Photos provided by the CPN Metro District.

by David Lichtenstein, Castle Pines North Metro District

Normally, moisture in any form is a welcome sight for the residents of Castle Pines North. However, what can happen when you live on a steep slope that is in the direct path of snowmelt runoff?

For the residents of Arco Iris Lane, which sits off Serena Drive, this became a real problem with the record amounts of snowfall received this winter. As the accumulated snow pack thawed, the runoff flowed freely down a steep slope, carrying dirt and debris along with it. Water flowed over a wall separating backyards from open space.

Developers of this neighborhood had never properly addressed the runoff issue when these homes were built on a steep slope. The area between properties was never seeded or vegetated by the developers and, as a result, soil that eroded from this slope flowed into the backyards of at least five or six homes on Arco Iris Lane.

This became a real problem last summer during rainstorms. Complaints soon started coming in to the Metro District office, and to the Master Association, as residents saw water and debris flowing over the wall.

“Somebody had to do something and the developers hadn’t done the job,” said the Metro District’s Parks and Open Space Manager, Charlie Fagan.

First, the Metro District planted vegetation and seed in the open space area in an effort to prevent erosion. This did not solve the immediate problem, so American Civil Contractors was hired to build a dirt berm last fall.

The berm, however, did not solve the problem. It cost approximately $2,000 to build the berm but it was starting to erode and did not cover the entire drainage area. Fagan decided a more permanent and cost-effective method would be to build a concrete v-shaped drainage pan, a “v-pan” that would divert water toward a field and a storm water drain.

Millan Brothers was hired to build the v-pan at a cost of about $6,000. The project was finished in early December and, so far, it has worked perfectly. Since it was built, no Arco Iris residents have reported runoff water going over the property wall, even after this winter’s severe snowstorms.

“I know those residents would have been miserable and very concerned had they had to deal with all the water we have now,” wrote Arco Iris Lane resident Jennifer Havercraft, in a thank-you note to Fagan. “Thank you for making sure that project was not dropped to the bottom and taking care of those residents that back up to the wall. Please tell your crew that they are very grateful as well.”



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