Suttons Bay is about to get cleaner~and greener!

Twelve rain gardens will be installed this summer to keep water safe for swimmers.

Three revamped drain systems will stop outflow from storm drain outlets, eliminating bacteria at the Village’s two heavily used swimming beaches.

“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,” says Sarah U’Ren, Program Director.

Other green techniques being used are underground trenches.  These and rain gardens treat runoff by natural absorption rather than directly discharging it to surface water. Underground processes naturally clean runoff.

Rain gardens will be planted with attractive native plants that absorb runoff pollutants. Rain gardens will be near:

  • Broadway and St. Mary’s
  • St. Joseph and Madison
  • St. Joseph and Adams

Runoff will enter rain gardens and naturally filter in the ground. Any excess water will spill over risers and flow into the storm system inlet, making its way to underground filtration trenches.  Underground trenches will be located under sections of Front Street, and in alleys between Broadway and Jefferson streets.

There will be 3,612 feet of underground trenches. That’s nearly three-fourths of a mile!

You can see photos on Facebook.

This project is being integrated with other park, TART trail and road improvements. Construction begins in early summer and should conclude by November.  The US EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is providing $987,000 in grant funding to keep our local waters clean and safe.


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