About the initiative

Barepoint Water Treatment Stormwater project included the installation of a bio retention 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 bio retention 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. 

Motivation behind the project
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.

Storm water sustainability in Thunder Bay

 This project has elements that help achieve the four major goals of the Water section 10.0 of the EarthCare Sustainability Plan:
By 2020, integrated approaches to improve the management of water, wastewater, and stormwater based on best practices are supported.

By 2020, water conservation, stewardship and water management practices for healthy watersheds are promoted to the community.

Adaptation and readiness plans are promoted to mitigate potential environmental impact due to climate.

Partnerships with various stakeholders have been developed to address existing and emerging water issues.

Barriers of the initiative
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.

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