After years of planning, construction on Desoto Park's stormwater pond finally began in July of 2018. The stormwater facility includes a 1.54-acre retention pond that will complete the treatment train in the 293-acre DeSoto Drainage Basin. In addition to the designed 10-day detention period of the pond, treatment methods will include reuse of the collected stormwater for irrigation of the entire park and baseball facility, and a 400-foot underground wall of biosorption activated media (BAM) that will filter groundwater between the pond and the nearby receiving waterbody, in this case the drainage canal that is west of the pond, commonly known as the “Manatee Canal”.
Each of the treatment techniques is designed for nutrient removal, which will help to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus allowed to runoff into the Indian River Lagoon. The pond’s 10-day retention period will reduce nitrogen by approximately 461 pounds per year and phosphorous by 95.7 pounds per year. Water will simultaneously be withdrawn from the pond on a regular basis and spread over approximately 10-acres of turf and landscaping for irrigation. This will remove an additional 961 pounds of nitrogen and 59.6 pounds of phosphorus annually. Any runoff remaining in the pond will filter into the surficial aquifer and flow toward the nearby receiving water body (drainage canal), passing through the BAM wall which will remove additional nitrogen and phosphorous. The project will consist of a number of features that enhance the general area while providing water quality treatment, including a fountain, 1,813 feet of walking trail, multigenerational exercise equipment, kayak launch, and educational kiosks.
It is also hoped that one day a soft infrastructure device known as a Beemat, an artificial floating island that contains aquatic plants, will float atop of the surface of the pond. Beemats have been shown to help further reduce excess nutrients and even remove heavy metals while also beautifying the waterbody they are in and providing new habitat for wildlife. Beemat installation in the Desoto Facility and other City ponds as well is being actively investigated.
Together, these two initiatives are helping the City to satisfy Green Achievement Target #20, design and implement soft infrastructure techniques to help control and filter stormwater runoff.