Okotoks Operations Centre Bioretention

This project focused on managing stormwater run-off from a public works yard in the Town of Okotoks, adjacent to Sheep River. The objective was proposed to be met by constructing an extensive riparian bio-retention system that utilizes the biogeochemical functionality of plants and permeable soils to treat and manage stormwater.

The proposed riparian bio-retention system offered multiple environmental benefits, including: buffering effect on the hydrological regime, decrease in the risks of flood and drought, and enhancement of natural aesthetics. To date, the design of similar absorbent landscapes has been primarily focused on maximizing infiltration through the use of coarsely grained (sandy) soil mixes. Multiple incidents of clogging and functionality loss have been documented with bioretention systems constructed using coarsely grained media. The proposed system utilized cohesive soils instead of sand, and facilitated biological processes to sustain infiltrative capacity of the system over long term. You can read more about this approach here.