Bioswale Redesign for Big Box Retail
Recently, Divisions took over care of a bioswale system for a big box retailer in Richmond, IN. Originally outside Divisions landscaping scope, malfunctions with the system were compounding over time creating a pressing need for overhaul. The bioswale was originally designed to manage and filter runoff water in their parking lot. As an alternative to storm sewers, if maintained, these vegetative filter buffers have proved to be an effective drainage method, designed to move and temporarily store runoff water and filter out pollutants, improving water quality. These swales are designed with sloped sides, filled with native vegetation, proper soil mixture, and a variety of rock. The water's flow path, along with the wide and shallow ditch, is aimed to maximize the time water spends in the swale, which aids in the trapping of pollutants and silt.
Directly behind the Richmond, IN store is a neighboring arboretum
which sits on 466 acres of woodlands, meadows, swamps, and streams that can be enjoyed by the public. Because the water from the swales ultimately feeds into the arboretum the quality of the retailer’s water runoff is of concern. Besides becoming unsightly, the original bioswale installation could no longer drain or filter water properly – resulting in flooded parking spaces and stagnant standing water. These concerns drove the retailer’s corporate landscaping team to begin planning the reconstruction of the bioswales.