The Herrity Fountain retrofit project demonstrates how innovation and teamwork can result in stormwater management that is truly integrated into public spaces to achieve multiple objectives. A much needed renovation of a malfunctioning fountain and reflecting pool evolved into an opportunity to showcase and test emerging green infrastructure technologies, including four stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and over 5000 native perennial forbs, grasses, shrubs and trees.
Buried beneath the plaza a 15,000-gallon cistern that captures rainwater flowing off the Herrity parking garage roof. A small pump uses a fraction of the energy that the former fountain’s pump used and taps into the underground reservoir to create a decorative bubbling fountain in the center of the plaza. An innovative feature of the rainwater harvesting system is the replacement of coarse sand in the filtering media with crushed, recycled glass resulting in a cost savings of $22,000. The crushed glass was provided through a unique collaboration with the County’s Solid Waste Management Division in Lorton, VA where glass collected throughout the region in “purple dumpsters” is crushed for reuse.
Also part of the design are two bioretention tree pits that treat a portion of the driveway and sidewalks leading into the government buildings. The performance of the bioretention cells will be monitored in a collaborative effort between the County’s Urban Forest Management Division (UFMD) and researchers from Virginia Polytechnic University to evaluate health and growth of trees in these systems.