At Spring-Ford High School, a one acre stormwater basin was converted from a sloping turfgrass condition to a flat-bottom naturalized basin featuring a series of water quality berms that provide extended detention of runoff from small storms. The 65-acre area that drains to the basin is comprised of the school’s large parking lots and athletic fields. Since shallow rooted turf grass provides little stabilization in areas of significant flow, converting the basin from turfgrass to a naturalized meadow promotes better filtration of runoff and greater pollutant uptake, while it also reduces erosion of the soil.
The basin’s water quality berms restrict smaller storm events by providing 1 foot of storage in each of the four water quality cells within the basin. The water quality cells were re-graded to provide a flat bottom to promote infiltration, then the cells were scarified to a depth of 6 inches to eliminate compacted soil at the base. After construction of the basin and berms was complete, 120 native trees, 115 native shrubs, 250 native herbaceous plugs, and 112 pounds of native wetland seed were planted in the basin.
Students in Spring-Ford High School Environmental Science classes have adopted the basin to use as an outdoor classroom. They regularly perform water quality monitoring within the basin and below the discharge.
Watershed: Schuylkill River
Montgomery County Conservation District
143 Level Road
Collegeville, PA 19426