by Andrew Martin
Work by several organizations to improve water quality in Lamoille County could be coming to fruition in Hyde Park. The Lamoille County Conservation District (LCCD) is currently working with town officials in Hyde Park and outside engineers to create a bio-retention area and rain garden and may be moving on to a similar project in Morrisville later in the year. The Hyde Park Selectboard officially approved the project in their town moving from the conceptual to design phase at their March 14 meeting.
Work in Hyde Park began when a stormwater infrastructure mapping project was completed by the Agency of Natural Resources Ecosystems Restoration Program. The mapping project identified different culverts and stormwater drains that could potentially be disconnected from the main system to decrease the flow of water and therefore the flow of sediments and nutrients into the rivers and streams.
A portion of the drainage and stormwater system in Hyde Park Village that flows into a small tributary of Centerville Brook was identified by the mapping project as a high priority site. The area identified as high priority lies in the area of the Eden Street and Depot Street intersections. The LCCD is now creating a plan to take the water flowing through some of the town’s stormwater drainage system in that area and to divert it into a bio-retention area. That bio-retention area would filter out the sediment and nutrients in the water and could be cleaned yearly. Following the filtering process the water in the bio-retention area would then be sent back out into the watershed system.
At the current time an engineer has been hired by the LCCD to help select a location for the bio-retention area. According to Kimberly Komer of the LCCD the most ideal spots for the area are on private land but that the area will most likely end up on town land. The estimated cost of building the bio-retention area is roughly $26,000, but the LCCD is planning to cover nearly all the costs of the project through grants with Hyde Park likely contributing in kind services. Komer explained that the current plan calls for the bio-retention area to be built in the summer of 2014 if all goes well with the project.