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NOTL Water Quality Improvement Bioswale Project

The NOTL Bioswale shortly after construction (June 2020) and after one growing season (Oct. 2020).

Stormwater runoff occurs when water from rain or snowmelt flows over hard surfaces like roads, driveways, roofs, etc. It is usually carried away from roads through underground pipes and into a nearby waterbody like a creek, river or lake. Stormwater runoff can carry pollutants like bacteria and sediments and harm water quality in the receiving waterbody.

The Simcoe Park Water Quality Improvement Project consisted of the construction of a bioswale in May 2020. A bioswale is a “low impact development” technique featuring a constructed channel and special materials and plants to reduce and filter stormwater runoff (see below to learn about the features).

Along with several other remediation activities in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, this project was completed to improve the quality of water discharged to the Niagara River as part of the Remedial Action Plan goals.

FEATURES OF THIS PROJECT (numbers correspond to graphic):

  1. The project area was reshaped to hold back, slow down, and filter water.
  2. Stormwater runoff flows into the area through underground pipes.
  3. Rounded river stones provide erosion control where the water flows in and out of the bioswale.
  4. Native plants around the area help slow the flow of stormwater runoff and support pollinators like birds and insects.
  5. Mulch, sand, gravel, and native water-tolerant plants all help to filter and clean the stormwater.
  6. The filtered water flows back in the storm sewer and is released into the Niagara River.

This project was funded in part by Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Other support was provided by the Niagara Region, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. Project consultant: GMBluePlan

This water quality improvement project was critical in completing actions required to remove the Beach Closings beneficial use impairment, as part of the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan.

About Us

Efforts from many key partners in the RAP Team continue to help complete priority actions for the restoration, protection, and enhancement of the Niagara River ecosystem. This initiative is made possible through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Ontario, in partnership with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.

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