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Wicking beds connected to gutters and ground water?  RSS feed

 
Rob Medeks
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I'm building a house in the great lakes region on about an acre of land that mostly slopes down toward a stream in the back. The house should be complete in less than a month now. We get plenty of rainfall and ground water flow. I'm required to put in a storm water management pond to offset the increased runoff caused by the roof and driveway so that we don't flood the stream. The house's gutters drain to the pond and also pipes around the footers of the house catch any ground water and gravity takes water away from the foundation to the pond.

So in my backyard I have a section of land that slopes down 3:1 (every 3 feet forward it drops down 1 foot). It has a 6" pipe burried in it that is carrying all the roof and foundation water toward the pond. I want to do something productive with this land and utilize this water if I can. I'd like to grow berries and a vegetable garden. I was thinking of doing a series of wicking beds down this hill. Have water from the pipe flow into the first one which will overflow to the next one, and then the next one, until it reaches the pond. Does this seem like a good idea? Has anyone done something similar? Is it a problem for the plants if this water is a little "gray"? The ground water captured from around the foundation smells a bit foul, like sulfur. It would be mixed with the roof water when it rains which would be a little fresher but collect whatever was on the roof (bird poop, dust). Would this be ok for wicking beds?
 
Blake Wheeler
Posts: 166
Location: Kentucky 6b
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I'm gonna start this off by saying that requirement is assinine. Anyone that thinks runoff from a house is going to contribute enough to help flood a stream (that collects water for MILES around) is obviously an idiot. Not to mention streams are supposed to flood on occasion anyway, it's just what they do.

Well, if it's flowing to a pond anyway, a body of water is about one of the most productive environments anyway. i highly doubt dust and bird poop will harm anything plant related, if nothing else it'll be good for them. Really the only bad thing would be chemicals from the, probably, asphalt shingles on the house. Give the wicking beds a try though, that's the only way you'll ever really know. Personally I would just build a large catchment system and use it to drip irrigate garden beds, but it's less labor and I'm lazy lol
 
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