Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Making Ponds out of Parking Lots

In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, climate change will make cleanup efforts more challenging because, aside from the storm surges and shoreline damage from the rising sea level, runoff will increase with the greater amount of precipitation predicted in the cooler half of the year. Rain barrels can help only so much, due to their limited volume, but a pond could capture much more water, depending on how it is fed and drained.

Most garden ponds aren't designed with stormwater management in mind, but by allowing water to be partially drained in dry spells and filled up by storms, the pond would function much as a rain barrel does in supplying water to other parts of the landscape and saving on the water bill.

I hate to see all the extra free water from above wasted, so I am considering converting part of our overly large, increasingly obsolete driveway to a segmented pond that would provide a cool and sedate point of entry to our home.  It could be fed by rain barrel overflow, a shed roof, and the adjacent sidewalk. Since it is the high point on our property, it could also be used to water other garden areas. A nitrogen-fixing bacteria filter would be a good place to incorporate biochar, as would containerized submerged planting media. It could be integrated with an aquaponics system in the future.
Photo by Bernie Pallek

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