Agricultural-chemical Facility in Michigan

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Stormwater Management through Innovative Ideas

A retail agricultural chemical facility in Woodbury, Michigan hired Sand County Environmental, Inc. (SCE) to assist with management of stormwater runoff from the facility. Concerns were heightened since concentrated runoff from the facility discharged directly to a county drain system. SCE worked with facility staff to design, construct and implement a plant based treatment system using hybrid poplar, hybrid willows, and various herbaceous species.

The system uses a series of planted treatment pans to detain storm water runoff. The plants in each pan promote infiltration, trap sediments, uptake nutrients, and promote biological sequestration and treatment in the soil.

Maintenance is paramount during the first two growing seasons of a planting. The trees take a bit of maintenance to become established, including weed control, irrigation, and deer exclusion. The client has done an exemplary job of maintaining this system, resulting in tree growth that averaged greater than four feet per year over the first few growing seasons. Early tree growth greatly increases the capacity of the system to treat stormwater.