Environmental Enhancement Design and Special Project Support
Stormwater runoff enters our waterways, bringing floatable debris and suspended or dissolved pollutants. Stormwater treatment wetlands intercept runoff and help clean stormwater by settling, filtering, and transforming pollutants into less harmful forms. For example, excess nutrients in the water that feed bacteria growth, promote algal growth, and harm aquatic resources are transformed by wetland plants into harmless gases or plant tissue.
The Flood Control District has taken every opportunity to design environmental enhancements into its flood damage reduction projects. Environmental Enhancement is a general term referring to manmade features that mimic natural systems. These include permanent pools of water, stormwater treatment wetlands, riparian corridors, reforestation zones, and coastal prairies.
Open water areas within detention basins promote the breakdown of pollutants, such as pathogenic bacteria, through exposure to sunlight. These dynamic processes occur within any detention basin that includes stormwater treatment wetlands. In addition to improvements to water quality, stormwater treatment wetlands provide native animal habitat and aesthetic value. Additional benefits associated with riparian corridors, reforestation zones, and coastal prairies are discussed in further detail in Site Stabilization and Revegetation.
The Flood Control District has developed the following tools to assist design engineers and other professionals with incorporation of water quality enhancements into flood control projects, where practicable.