Then and Now – Beautiful Bioswales

Back on July 25, 2010 we wrote about a pilot bioswale project that, then DECA executive member, Mary-Margaret McMahon was spearheading with another DECA darling, Lillian Sammon.

Can you believe it?  It actually happened!  Mary-Margaret and Lillian pitched a few ideas to the City. The City chose the one they thought was most viable, installed it and footed the bill.

A bioswale is “a landscape element designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. It is filled vegetation, compost and/or stones. The water’s flow path, along with wide and shallow ditch, is designed to maximize the time water spends in the swale, helping trap pollutants and silt.”

Lead In The Water

Speaking of pollutants, and because we always have new people joining this community blog, I like to remind people about the issue of lead in the water. Old homes sometimes have lead pipes in the house or lead pipes from the street to your home. If you’ve never had your water tested (especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have young children) you may want to pick up a lead testing kit at the East York Civic Centre.  In the meantime, a few tips from Toronto Public Health  if you are concerned about lead in your water:

  • Flush the water first thing in the morning and after it’s been sitting for a while
  • Clean the aerator on your tap if you have one as lead can build up along with the rest of the guk
  • Use a filter that meets the NSF53 standard (It should say that on the box of the filter).  In my case that’s a PUR water filter.
0 comments to “Then and Now – Beautiful Bioswales”
  1. That looks to be a great option for public area boulevards. I was wondering – did they do the same thing north of the Danforth, along Woodmount, near Pizza Nova and Carter’s? I noticed the new trees with larger, soil-filled areas and pavers back in the fall. It could be the same process, or just more space for the trees. Either way, it looks great, and I would be happy to plant drought tolerant species here, too, if no one else wants to.

  2. Another bioswale was installed this summer beside the Green P lot at Danforth and Parkmount. This bioswale at Cedarvale will be a great streets cape detail. I wonder where else it could be installed?

  3. The trees at Woodmount were requested earlier as a boulevard upgrade – not as bioswales – but the end result does look much the same and is sure so much better than the empty asphalt. I can’t wait til spring to see the trees leaf out. It started with a request I drafted to the City that was supported by all those close-by Woodmount businesses and bigtime by Carter’s and their customers. Greenwood just north of the Danforth has a similar treatment. Deeeelighted the bioswales happened! -Lillian Salmon

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