Stormwater Management Doubles as Educational Tool in Baltimore, MD



Case study: education grant for stormwater management

In Baltimore, a local elementary school decided it was time to add a new educational opportunity for students, augment their stormwater runoff techniques and become more visually appealing.


The school had received a grant with a stipulation tied to education value of the spending, so they identified stormwater management as a good candidate for the grant. The school is located on a small parcel of land in an urban setting that does not have much permeable surface area for stormwater to penetrate.


The goal was to build a small-footprint, educational micro-bioretention stormwater system that was also visually appealing.



Solution and installation: FocalPoint

After investigating some options, it became clear to the design team that a FocalPoint biofiltration system tailored to an educational experience would fulfill all of the school’s needs and would allow the grant money to be approved for spending. To satisfy the need for educational purpose, the engineers designed a raised micro-bioretention planter complete with concrete steps and many features that will enhance the educational experience.


The school building features an angled roof that directs stormwater to one central rain spout. Captured stormwater is then filtered into a cistern for treatment, and overflow is discharged down a rain chain, through a pipe, and then into a trough, which evenly distributes flow across the planter system.


The FocalPoint high-flow media works in combination with the plantings in the bed to filter the captured runoff. Below the planter, R-Tank modules were added to increase rainwater storage capacity.




The small footprint capability of the FocalPoint high-flow media allowed water quality treatment for the entire project to be achieved in the raised planter bed. Not only is the micro-bioretention system serving as an effective means for stormwater management, teachers at the elementary school are also taking advantage of it as an interactive tool for their classrooms to visit.


The school is happy about their improved curb appeal, new educational tool and improved stormwater management practices.


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