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Pierce County Environmental

The design presents a particularly effective strategy using a long water trail exhibits a variety of water treatment approaches and design elements in sequence: the trail begins on a corner of the building at a dramatic scupper from which water falls into a concrete basin incised with a spiral runnel.  In a rain event, water spirals from that basin into an adjacent wetland that visitors are invited to explore by walking across an elegantly meandering boardwalk.  At the end of the wetland the water disappears briefly under a roadway to reemerge in a bioswale designed to clearly indicate its function: the bioswale is lined with river stone and plants interspersed with pieces of driftwood, to drive home the water theme.  The bioswale forms a long axis, edged on one side by the parking lot and on the other by a walking trail—which ensures maximum visibility of the water treatment system.  At the end of the bioswale the water system again disappears briefly under a roadway, to end in a particularly intriguing piece of the system: a "flow splitter plaza".  Here effective signage and three visible valve heads indicate how the system diverts runoff into two different conveyance/infiltration swales: one grass-lined, and one rock-lined, while a third diverter awaits development of future treatment strategies.

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bioretention education signage walking trail
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  • Pierce County Environmental
  • People: The Miller|Hull Partnership, LLP
  • Location: Chambers Creek, WA
  • Client: Pierce County
  • Completed: Dec 31 2006

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