Regenerative Urban Bio-Basin System
Public-nonprofit project transforms a neglected city water-detention basin into a thriving member of the local ecosystem.
A partnership between the City of Prescott and local non-profit watershed steward Prescott Creeks Preservation Association targeted an existing, weed-choked detention basin at a busy city intersection for bio-remediation. Funded by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) as part of its Nonpoint Source Pollution Reduction Plan, the project called for design of green infrastructure to remove and/or reduce non-point source pollution and to improve the water quality of nearby Watson Lake and its tributaries.
We created a passive rainwater harvesting system of bio-retention basins and interconnected swales to transform this penned-in environmental eyesore into a regenerative ecological tool. The site’s high traffic made it a natural model for public outreach and education. Its revitalization included park-like seating and pedestrian-friendly viewpoints, making it an import part of neighborhood building.
Project: Whipple Street Bio-Basins
Average annual precipitation: 13 in. (historically, 19 in.)
Capture surface: adjacent streets, parking lots and detention basin.
System and storage: bio-remediation swale network.
Pre-filtration: rock-lined sediment basins, soil and bio-basin plantings.
Designer, construction observation: Barnabas Kane, for Skywater and T. Barnabas Kane & Assoc.
Architect: Weddle Gilmore Black Rock Studio
Installers: Prescott Creeks Preservation Assn., City of Prescott
Volunteers: Hire-A-Vet, Yavapai Exceptional Industries (YEI), The River Network, AmeriCorps