[permaculture] Bioswales, Open Space, Recreation - all in one place?

Kevin Topek ktopek at att.net
Sun Nov 2 20:24:10 EST 2008

Lawrence & David,

I'm flattered, but know that I know little. A bioswale can contain  
decomposing and living material to remediate several kinds of toxins.  
The biodegradation system needs to be designed with regard to flow  
rates, flow volumes, ambient temperatures and potential toxins  
involved. As with all systems, the prevailing conditions dictate the  
path to solving the problem issues. Some toxins are best remediated by  
bacteria, some by slime molds and some by fungi. I have also observed  
that some systems that adsorb toxins on hard surfaces, such as rocks,  
degrade those toxins very rapidly and efficiently by biodegrading  
organisms, such as bacteria, in the absence of organic substrates,  
such as compost. Each system needs a specially designed solution!

Kevin Topek
Permaculture Design LLC
ktopek at att.net

On Oct 31, 2008, at 9:34 PM, Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:

> David Glober wrote:
>> Greetings,
>> I'm part of a local community group reviewing a design that's been
>> proposed that would include bioswales for stormwater filtration - not
> This implies bioremediation capability. Have you planned for that  
> with the necessary
> detoxification features?
> Stormwater is lots of different types of runoff; if from airports it  
> could contain
> deicing chemicals and solvents used to clean runways and also  
> chemical and petroleum spills.
> A complete, well-designed system would be needed if you were going  
> to use a bioswale for this sort of application.
> Kevin Topek, listmember, should know something about this.
>> exactly the same thing as swales we put in for rainwater capture and
>> growing trees - in an area that's already been designated for open  
>> space,
>> shoreline preservation and recreation.
>> Would any one know if this could prove to be an example of stacking
>> functions and multiple use, or is this something that is mutually
>> exclusive?
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