by Trish Rudder
Construction of the stormwater control feature at the Berkeley Springs Train Depot got substantially underway last week with Pentoney Brothers Contracting LLC doing the work.
The innovative stormwater control system on one-third of an acre at the Depot was designed to collect and filter stormwater runoff using natural soil-building techniques, said Bath councilwoman Rebecca MacLeod, who co-chairs the town’s Streetscape projects.
She said because the site is a contaminated brownfield from its use as a rail yard, rainwater flowed across the lot, picking up and carrying the pollutants off the site toward Warm Springs Run.
“We wanted to do more to restore the site while holding back the runoff,” she said.
Hugelkultur landscaping techniques are being used to encourage natural processes which will further remediate the site, MacLeod said. The “hugels” are berms built with logs from another portion of the lot with added compost and horse manure. The fungus growing on the logs and other organic materials will help deplete contamination and further remediate the area.
“After we get the native trees, shrubs and perennial wildflowers planted next spring, we expect a thriving bio-system that controls stormwater runoff,” she said.