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Barepoint Water Treatment Stormwater Project


Rain Garden

Tell us about your project/initiative:

Barepoint Water Treatment Stormwater project included the installation of a bioretention swale and multiple rain gardens to capture and treat stormwater before entering Lake Superior.  The goal of the project is to treat the stormwater and enhance the landscape aesthetic appeal of the grounds at the Water Treatment Plant (WTP).
The project involved the collaboration between the Parks, Environment, and Construction Services divisions. A community outreach was included and community volunteers planted one of the bioretention cells. 

Project Description
The project is being implemented in phases to manage stormwater around the WTP.  We started by installing a bioswale between Lake Superior and the main building to catch pollutants before the runoff water enters the Lake.  In the second phase, we installed two rain gardens in front of the main building to allow stormwater to infiltrate into the ground. We completed the third phase with the installation of two pieces of porous pavement and a reservoir bed for snow which now reduces the risk of ‘slip and falls’ in the parking lot. The fourth and final phase of this project, which has yet to be completed, will see the installation of a bioswale and picnic area between the buildings on site. 

What motivated you to start this project/initiative?:
We wanted to protect the source of water for the Water Treatment Plant (WTP), which is  Lake Superior, and solve our health and safety issue related to  slip-and-fall risk from ice in the spring and fall.

How does this project support sustainability in Thunder Bay?:

Have you encountered barriers to the success of this project/initiative? If so, what were they?:
Yes.  The knowledge level of low impact design within Thunder Bay’s general design and construction community is limited.  There was a lot of hesitancy to implement this project due to concerns that the design might not function properly, but it is working out very well in the end.