Bioswale filtration system included near construction of R building


Max Kiyoi

In Amador’s backlot a trench was dug out to channel water out in an environmentally friendly way.

Max Kiyoi, Staff Writer

Amador’s students are very excited about the new infrastructure on campus. Along with the state-of-the-art learning facilities, a new bioswale filtration system was added to the parking lot to the side of the newly completed R building. 

A bioswale filtration system is a water filtration system made from plants. The water flows through the plants and under the plants is a layer that keeps the soil from falling into the concrete.

Filtration systems are part of the new wave of the future. Eventually, all runoff will pass through some type of treatment whether it’s a bio-retention facility, a flow-through planter, or downspout filters. The main goal these bioswale systems hope to achieve is to keep our stormwater, which eventually goes to local streams such as the Arroyo Valle creek that runs past Amador, and eventually out to our bay.

Almost all water has pollutants such as heavy metals and toxins. Deposits that are collected from the air, ground, and vehicles such as cars are washed out by rain used to go into the storm drain then the closest waterway system. 

“The purpose of them is to capture stormwater runoff, so any runoff that is captured from the pavement or the roof as pollution and particles collect over time”, said Alexandra Frros-Hoeppner, a civil engineer.

Filtration systems are especially useful in California, as the state only averages 21.5 inches of rain each year giving a new meaning to the fact of every drop of water matters. Hoeppner also mentions it would benefit waterways, aquatic animals and help reduce the amount of water that is expelled at one period of time.

“Pollution in our water systems is actually changing the ecology of the water. So it was changing which creatures can live in there and food systems and all that not-so-great stuff. So with stormwater control plans, we are learning that- so bring natural back to the way it was previously,” said Hoeppner. 

To ensure the system is working properly, it would need to be cleaned out every 3 to 4 years as well as restoring any dead plants and soil and damaged maintenance. In the expansion, two planters were added where the bioswale filtration system sits. The layered foundation consists of soil, rocks, and soil mix to filter out the water; this is just one step Amador is taking to be a cleaner and greener school.