How to create a clean water alley, Part I

The Elmer Paseo is all but complete – we still have some finishing touches to add so it won’t be officially open until the new year. For all of you stormwater geeks, following is a photo essay showing how to create a clean water alley.

The Infiltration Trench and the Bio-swale. These two main features needed to be constructed simultaneously and included some challenging logistics. Down the center of the Paseo, the construction crew excavated a 4 foot deep trench which exposed the sandy native soil that is ideal for infiltrating water. Next they had to apply a layer of clean sand to help maintain consistent infiltration the entire length of the trench.

To protect the adjacent properties from water migrating toward their properties, workers installed an impervious liner along both sides of the existing wall, creating a funnel of sorts to direct water toward the open bottom trench.

Next, workers backfilled the 4’ deep trench  with rough angular gravel, which creates voids or gaps between the rocks which allow water to collect and flow through the gravel to the bottom of the trench where it will infiltrate to the native soil. Smooth rocks will ‘lock’ together, preventing the formation of voids and gaps for water to collect.

To be continued

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