Visiting Athens…stop #4

Now, that the Think a the Sink blog is back in action after taking a summer hiatus, it is time to Printcontinue our journey around Athens.  We are highlighting buildings, businesses, and organizations that demonstrate water stewardship methods in Athens-Clarke County.   Our last stop was the recently constructed Bob Snipes Water Resources Center (WRC).  The WRC highlights 5 sustainable and water saving elements both within and around the building.  Last time we explored the LEED certified building.  We will continue our journey here.

The element we will be exploring today is the bioretention pond in front of the WRC.  Bioretention ponds act as funnels to capture stormwater.  Stormwater runs off roads, sidewalks, buildings, and parking lots carrying soil, litter, and pollutants to rivers.  Possible pollutants include metals, fertilizers, chemicals, and oils.  Bioretention ponds interrupt this process by allowing pollutants in the stormwater to be filtered through layers of gravel, sand, planting soil, plants, and mulch.

Bioretention PondBioretention ponds filter out the pollutants in stormwater runoff, with the goal of keeping our waterways (Middle Oconee and North Oconee Rivers) healthy for humans and wildlife.

Some of the benefits of bioretention ponds include

  • Reduce local flooding
  • Improves water quality
  • Provides habitat in trees, bushes, and plants
  • Berries and nuts provide food for wildlife
  • More attractive than other stormwater management systems
  • Filters pollutants from stormwater

Bioretention ponds can be found in neighborhoods and even parking lot islands.  As you are out and about in Athens this week, take a look and see if you can find anymore bioretention ponds.  If you find one be sure to let us know!

Jackie Sherry- Water  Conservation Office Graduate Assistant

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