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Rainwater in Oregon

 
Posts: 222
Location: Douglas County OR
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Full disclosure: don't have property yet. But I know we'll be in the intermountain valleys (between the coast range and the Cascades) in Douglas county, near Roseburg. We'll be above flood plain (cheaper that way, and less risk of washing away).
While trying to land, I've been absorbing as much information as my poor brain will hold about perma/sustainable.
One area I'm having difficulty getting my head around is how to do rainwater catchment. I am reading "Harvesting Rainwater Volume 2" and the main thing he says is talk to an engineer before proceeding on clay soils. This area is known for its mucky clay soils, so there I sit. I was wondering if anyone has experience doing earthworks on sloped western Pacific Northwest areas. Most likely some of this will include oak savannah.
My specific questions:
Are there things you are looking for as you do earthwork catchment that indicate you are over-saturating an area? Did you get your site evaluated by an engineer?
Things I am considering: ponds and clay should go well together. Maybe I'll need to resign myself to using holding tanks. For any earthworks I will be starting TINY at the top of the slope and proceeding very slowly. I am making an assumption that the presence of oaks indicates that long roots can penetrate, so slowing runoff and improving retention on a small scale would be okay there.
Any responses will be very appreciated.
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