With their knowledge of low impact site development, watershed management and water and wastewater management, F.X. Browne, Inc. designed and built a constructed wetland at their company headquarters. The wetland was completed within a two week timeframe in July 2003. The objective of this retrofit project was to introduce Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the site to improve water quality, beautify the land, and prevent downstream flooding into Perkiomen Creek.
The steps to create the constructed stormwater wetland on the site included re-contouring the basin, restricting the outlet pipe, and planting the basin with native wetland plants. To begin, cattails and sod were completely removed from the basin. Contouring included the construction of an open-faced channel, which slows down the velocity of stormwater. Outlet pipes were changed and set at a higher elevation to allow for stormwater to pool in order to create the wetland. Lastly, the basin was enhanced with native species, which filter pollutants and evapotranspirate, providing volume control.
Species planted include Boneset, Cardinal Flower, Aster spp., Goldenrod spp., Smartweed spp., Rush spp, Sedge spp., New York Ironweed, Joe Pye Weed, Blue Vervain, Iris spp., Switchgrass, Little Bluestem. Certain species thrived and spread throughout the basin, like the plantings of Aster and Blue Vervain, while other varieties have not spread much from their original planting locations, such as Boneset.
F.X. Browne, Inc. has been monitoring the site to take note of fauna adapting to the basin. They have mainly noted good types of insects which is in turn attracting small predators. A notable difference has been established in the biodiversity from the old basin to the new naturalized basin.
This retrofit project demonstrates F.X. Browne, Inc.’s involvement in the community through their responsible stewardship as landowners. They plan to utilize the site as an educational tool and continue scientific testing for efficiency against runoff pollution. Their research on the establishment of specific plant and animal species will be influential to their future projects as a firm.
Watershed: Neshaminy Creek
F.X. Browne, Inc. is located at 1101 S. Broad St. in Lansdale and is the company’s corporate headquarters. Specializing in civil and environmental engineering, planning, and management, the F.X. Browne consultant team used their own expertise to naturalize the detention basin on their property.
The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary provided F.X. Browne, Inc. with a $5,000 grant.
F.X. Browne, Inc. contributed $3,000 as well as in kind services.
Dr. Frank Browne