Bioretention basins are another low-impact development strategy. Bioretention basins manage and treat runoff through the utilization of the right planting medium and the proper planting materials. These two components work together to filter the runoff, promoting natural infiltration/percolation. A bioretention basin can be shallow or deep; however, it is often only a slightly excavated depression that holds water. They rarely cover more than an acre of land.
Bioretention basins can be designed to hold water temporarily or permanently. They reduce the risk of flooding when heavy rains or substantial snowmelt occurs. Bioretention basins may have overflow weirs for water level control and even dispersal of water when it is released. Precautions are in place to prevent contaminants and pollutants from being released with the overflow.
In suburban environments, bioretention basins also serve as a temporary habitat for migratory birds. Other animals, including bats, foxes and squirrels, take advantage of the habitat on a more permanent basis. Ideally, a bioretention basin blends into the surrounding environment. With the incorporation of native plants, it is free of upkeep and serves as a habitat and food source for butterflies and other pollinators.
A bioretention basin can be lined to help it to retain water, which can be released or used at a later time. Historically, bioretention basins were lined with concrete, which performs best when sealed; however, liquid sealant products are difficult to apply and unreliable over time. That’s where a flexible liner product like RPE (reinforced polyethylene) comes in. Lining the inside of a bioretention basin with a flexible, reinforced liner will prevent leaks and stop water loss. Unlike other sealants which generally require stripping and scrapping before new sealant material can be applied, a flexible liner is easy to replace should the need arise.
BTL Liner’s AquaArmor liner is a versatile, multi-layer polyethylene (RPE) material that is crafted to resist the harshness of any bioretention basin environment. It is the industry leading basin liner and is also fish and plant safe. Thus, making it the perfect material to use in a bioretention basin which often serves as a natural habitat for wildlife and migratory birds. Visit BTLLiners.com/AquaArmor to learn more.