Open Stormwater Systems

Stormwater Ponds are Ugly


A developer said this to me recently, no not all developers think this, but this comment is fairly typical of the perception that many in the industry hold. In fact, many of the developments that I’ve been involved in over the past couple of years have made every attempt to put the stormwater treatment and conveyance underground. Not particularly, (but possibly) because of some idea that it will take up less space, or perhaps that it will be less expensive, rather just because their personal preference is that it is an unseen service, like sanitary sewer.

In some parts of the world, it’s still called storm sewer with a stigma attached to it before it’s even had a chance to redeem itself. But should we be turning around all our old school, underground storm sewer practices, and creating swales, ponds, detention basins, biofiltration systems and raingardens?

The resounding answer would appear to be “yes!” with a cautionary qualification that it only works if the local authorities are prepared to look after it. Hand in hand with that caution comes another that it really helps if the residents like it too and some level of visual and environmental amenity is improved with the project. Read more after the jump…

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