2013-10-04 / Community Events

Fort Gordon storm water news and low impact development

By Jennifer Chapman
Department of Public Works

Low impact development is a green, natural approach to replicate and preserve the natural drainage process to manage storm water. LID preserves and recreates natural landscape features in order to treat storm water as a resource rather than a waste.

In accordance with the Energy Independence and Security Act, Fort Gordon has included LID construction practices over the last few years. Projects have incorporated bio-retention basins and swales, permeable surfaces, and underground collection cisterns. As our mission grows and Fort Gordon expands, there are a number of opportunities to use these new and natural construction practices to improve storm water quality and control. A number of major military construction projects are in the planning and early construction phases, the majority of which will include LID practices.

Bio-retention basin, also known as ‘rain gardens’ are landscape features used as treatment for storm water runoff, often near parking lots, at the edge of paved areas, and at the base of buildings.

Swales are broad, shallow channels with a dense growth of vegetation covering the side slopes and bottoms. They are designed to trap pollutants (suspended solids and trace metals), promote infiltration, and reduce the flow velocity of storm water runoff.

Permeable surfaces such as pavements reduce storm water runoff by allowing the water to soak through the paved surface into the ground below. Porous concrete and asphalt, plastic grid systems and interlocking paving bricks are some of the permeable surfaces used.

Collection cisterns are structures used to collect and store roof runoff. The water then can be reused to irrigate landscapes, and some interior use such as toilets and washing machines. Cisterns are constructed of durable material such as concrete, plastic, polyethylene, or metal. They can be placed above ground, underground, or on a rooftop.

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