Through Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grant Funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) have entered into the Upper San Antonio River Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) Implementation – Stormwater Retrofit Best Management Practices contract.
The Guenther and Euclid Stormwater Retrofit Project will allow SARA to implement demonstration stormwater retrofits. The low impact development (LID) best management practices (BMPs) to be considered for this project are identified in the Upper San Antonio River WPP.
The San Antonio River Basin’s primary source of pollution is non-point stormwater runoff. LID is a set of stormwater BMPs that addresses stormwater runoff. LID treats small, frequent storm events on-site with a focus on “first flush” pollutants. These are pollutants such as oils, pesticides, E. coli bacteria, and other constituents that, under a traditional site-to-street-to-stormdrain-to-creek stormwater conveyance system, wash off hardened surfaces and into our streams. LID also reduces the volume of runoff generated on a site, thereby reducing pollutant loading to the waterbody.
Demonstration BMPs will be constructed in accordance with SARA’s LID Technical Guidance Manual, as well as provide case studies of highly urbanized construction retrofits. At SARA’s headquarters on 100 E. Guenther St., permeable pavers, bioretention areas, and cisterns will address pollutant export that flows directly into the San Antonio River. At SARA’s Environmental Center, 600 E. Euclid Ave., a series of rain gardens that run the length of the building, currently collect one third of the rooftop runoff. Two 22-foot tall cisterns will be added to collect the remainder of the building’s rooftop runoff and will be used in an onsite irrigation system.
The demonstration BMPs installed through this project will become a public education tool on how retrofits and LID can reduce storm water runoff and non-point source pollution.
Stay tuned for more developments and updates. You can also stay up to date on SARA happenings by following us on social media. Follow us by clicking on the icons in the top right corner of this page.
November 2016- SARA social media construction update post:
Our low impact development (LID)/stormwater management makeover is looking great so far! The Guenther St. permeable paver parking lot was completed last month, collecting stormwater runoff and filtering out its pollutants in a rain event. On the riverside of our main office we dug deep, and now have a wonderful rain garden planting bed facing the San Antonio River. Once completed, the rain garden will collect (up to 10,000 gallons of) rooftop runoff for use by its native, drought tolerant plants, and leave what isn’t used by the plants to slowly filter through the soil, exiting an underdrain into the San Antonio River.
Construction crews have also installed several cisterns throughout the property. The completed project will allow SARA to capture and treat almost all of the onsite stormwater runoff at the main office on Guenther. This means we are keeping pollutants such as bacteria, oils and grease, pesticides and herbicides, and metals out of the San Antonio River. To learn more about LID and how you can be #WatershedWise, visit: www.sara-tx.org.
October 2016– The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) featured an article in the San Antonio Business Journal titled SARA Awarded Grant for Stormwater Retrofits, by Michelle E. Garza. The article discusses sustainable development and why it is necessary to generate improvements to the health of the San Antonio River Watershed and why SARA is promoting best management practices (BMPs), such as Low Impact Development (LID), for reducing stormwater runoff.
The LID BMPs planned for these two retrofit projects have been designed in accordance to the San Antonio River Basin: Low Impact Development Technical Guidance Manual. The retrofit designs also follow the City’s new LID development standards outlined and defined in the Unified Development Code (UDC), under the LID voluntary use pattern that was adopted in February 2016.
The article also discusses the growing demand for LID design and management training, which is why SARA provided two training programs designed to build local expertise. These classes are giving local talent and small businesses the opportunity to gain experience in San Antonio’s growing sustainable development market.
July 2016– Pardon Our Dust mailers have been sent to surrounding neighbors of the San Antonio River Authority’s Main Offices (100 E. Guenther) and Environmental Center (600 E. Euclid). The mailer informs residents of the construction happening this summer to manage stormwater onsite.
February 2016– The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) was featured in the King William Association’s Stay in the Loop KWA newsletter, Volume 12, No.1 February 2016. The article titled, “Committed to Water Quality – SARA Awarded Grant for Guenther Building Retrofits”, focused on the importance of the stormwater retrofits planned for SARA’s main office located in the Historic King William District at 100 E. Guenther in the Historic Downtown River Walk segment of the San Antonio River.
Stay up to date on SARA happenings by following us on social media. You can find us by clicking on the icons in the top right corner of this page.