Bioretention is a technique that utilizes plant material and microbes to temporarily store and treat stormwater before it is discharged or infiltrated. Also referred to as bioretention filters, bioretention cells, or rain gardens, these facilities remove suspended solids, metals, hydrocarbons, and bacteria from stormwater runoff using a combination of absorption, filtration, volatilization, ion exchange, and microbial decomposition. The use of specific plants, trees, and shrubs allows bioretention systems to mimic an upland forest floor, the ideal ecosystem for treating runoff.
Bioretention systems are extremely versatile and well-suited to both large and small sites. With common objectives and design principles, bioretention can be adapted to fit many different development contexts, applications, and climates. It is a popular low-impact development (LID) practice that can satisfy local stormwater requirements while using space that is already designated for landscaping.
The best way to ensure the functionality and effectiveness of any bioretention facility is through routine maintenance and inspection. iSTORMWATER can help, offering efficient, sustainable stormwater management services to clients throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
Call iSTORMWATER at (443) 699-2828 to learn more, or contact us online and let us know how we can help.
Bioretention cells are carefully engineered to prevent water contamination and control runoff. While they are low-maintenance by design, they are not maintenance-free. Stormwater management best practices include regular inspections and maintenance to protect your investment, preserve the environment, and ensure the effective operation of your bioretention system.
As the property owner, you are responsible for conducting the necessary checks as per the minimum requirements established by the county. Plan to inspect your bioretention facility once a month and within 24 hours of every storm that produces more than 1 inch of rainfall. Here are the inspection activities you should perform:
Check the facility for trash. Dispose of any debris found.
Remove sediment from the inflow pipe if necessary. Replace the pipe if it’s cracked or damaged.
Inspect the swale for erosion. Install an erosion control device if needed, such as turf matting or riprap.
Check the health of the vegetation. Prune overgrown plants and replace any that are dead, dying, or diseased. When replacing plants, apply fertilizer one time to help them become established.
Assess the soil. If it’s clogged with sediment, this indicates the presence of heavy metals. Remove and dispose of any toxic soil, and replace it with new planting media.
Examine the mulch. If it’s breaking down, remove and replace it as needed. For the best results, install up to 3 inches of triple-shredded hardwood mulch.
Wash out the underdrain to remove accumulated sediment.
Clean the drop inlet if clogged and dispose of sediment off-site. Repair or replace the drop inlet if it’s damaged.
Contact us at (443) 699-2828 for bioretention inspection and maintenance in MD, VA, and DC.
Bioretention Facilities Maintenance
Thoughtful design and construction are needed during the creation of a bioretention facility, and regular maintenance is needed while the vegetation is being established, followed by seasonal landscaping. Routine maintenance should include:
Examine pretreatment devices and bioretention cells to look for sediment buildup, standing water, or structural damage
Replenish soil and mulch as needed, and remove litter and debris
Treat diseased vegetation and replace dead plants twice a year
Remove invasive species
Replace mulch every two years
Contact us for bioretention facilities maintenance services in MD, VA & DC or call us at (443) 699-2828 today!
Benefits of Bioretention Facilities
Installing a bioretention system on your property is a proven way to remove a wide range of pollutants from stormwater runoff before it enters the groundwater supply. It also helps to reduce the volume of runoff to limit watershed stress. Consider these benefits of choosing bioretention as your stormwater management method:
Easily incorporated into new developments
Suitable for applications near impervious surfaces
Appropriate for small drainage areas
Attractive aesthetics for a high rate of community acceptance
Keep in mind that bioretention is not suitable for steep slopes. An extensive landscaping-specific soil matrix is also required, and any sediment-loaded runoff could clog the soil in the system.
For more information about bioretention facilities and how they compare to other methods of stormwater management, please call us at (443) 699-2828 or contact us online.
Schedule Bioretention Facilities Services in MD, VA & DC
iSTORMWATER is an industry leader with nearly 20 years of service to clients throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. We will help you design a stormwater management service plan to suit your unique needs and budget, backed by our comprehensive guarantee.
"Incredible stormwater management service. The owner John consulted on a property I manage and ended up saving us thousands of dollars in environmental fees from the government. Now, our property is compliant with the EPA and we have a great partner to keep us maintained on storm water regulations over time."