White Lake is a major tributary to Lake Michigan and an EPA Area of Concern (AOC). Historic industrial pollution contaminated lake bottom sediments, tainted fish and harmed water. Government officials are now working to reduce the volume of polluted stormwater that drains off the land and into White Lake.
The City of Whitehall recently completed Michigan’s first “Green Road.” The city transformed a 2,800 linear feet of Lake Street from a traditional paved roadway into a state-of-the-art stormwater collection system. The system uses pervious pavers, a Contech CDS hydrodynamic separator, rain gardens and bioswales to capture and repeatedly filter stormwater runoff from 60 acres of streets and industrial land near White Lake. The Contech CDS unit plays a critical role in this unique stormwater system. Runoff on Lake Street is diverted into a series of bioswales along both sides of the road. These direct runoff into several detention zones lined with native trees and plants.
Runoff on Lake Street is diverted into a series of bioswales along both sides of the road. These direct runoff into several detention zones lined with native trees and plants. Runoff then flows into the new wetland areas. Each of these steps is designed to filter the runoff and encourage it to soak into the soil. Prior to the retrofit, runoff collected at industrial facilities east of Lake Street drained to the street without treatment. A CDS system was installed to remove trash, debris and sediment from the industrial area flows prior to treatment by BMPs within the green street. This greatly improves the longevity of those systems and retains pollutants where they will not come into contact with groundwater, soil or wildlife.
“The City of Whitehall is committed to being a leader in stormwater treatment,” says Jason Washler, Civil Engineer with Prein & Newhof. “With the new system, stormwater is treated multiple times prior to its eventual discharge into White Lake. The treatment methods include naturalized wetlands, bioretention, pervious pavers, and a hydrodynamic separator from Contech. White Lake is expected to be delisted as an EPA Area of Concern in 2014 as a result of the efforts of many local stakeholders, including the City of Whitehall.”
Because the road’s stormwater system is so environmentally friendly, this project will further the EPA’s goals to reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater entering White Lake.