Bacterial contamination at two Suttons Bay family swimming beaches should be decreased or eliminated thanks to 15 new rain gardens and nearly 3/4 mile of underground runoff filtering trenches.

“By managing runoff from the three largest storm drains in Suttons Bay, we hope to drastically decrease public health risks at local beaches associated with runoff,” said Sarah U’Ren, Program Director.

Runoff flows into the rain gardens and is naturally filtered into the ground. Any excess runoff that can’t be absorbed during a heavy rain flows into storm drains nestled in the rain gardens.

Overflow from the rain gardens plus runoff from other areas of the village makes its way to underground filtering trenches. The trenches are plastic pipes with holes in them set into a bed of gravel. The filtering trenches are under Front Street and in the alleys between Broadway and Jefferson. Water flows into the trenches, leaks out through the holes in the pipes, and naturally filters into the ground.

The old storm drain on Madison was abandoned and redirected to the wetand on the south side of the marina. Now there is a new drain at the end of Madison next to the wetland. Most of the flow that used to come out of the Broadway storm drain is also being directed to the wetland.

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