School serves as model for dealing with runoff

Innovative techniques for dispersing runoff and protecting neighboring streams will be highlighted during a program at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 11, at Bethel Elementary School.

The grounds of Bethel Elementary School incorporate many environmental features that protect water quality. Haywood Waterways Association worked with the Haywood County school system in the site design for the new school.

Haywood Waterways Association and the environmental engineer that designed the site plan, Equinox Environmental, will share the techniques during a special half-hour program.

The site design allows water running off the school’s roof and parking lots to be absorbed back into the earth rather than shooting into the closest creek. The techniques also keep sediment, chemicals and other pollution from being carried into the creeks with run-off. Run-off during heavy rains is the number one cause of pollution to waterways and is a significant concern to the communities of Haywood County.

Allowing rain to be absorbed into the ground helps recharge the groundwater supply depended on for drinking wells and prevents flooding that occurs when creeks and rivers swell from heavy rains.

The site design at Bethel Elementary offer techniques that can be incorporated into any lot, commercial or residential.

“We needed an example for the county and region to show what could be done with stormwater. Publicly funded projects should set the example for others,” said Bill Yarborough of the Haywood Soil & Water Conservation District.

The program proceeds a school board meeting being held at the school that same night. Bethel Elementary School in located on N.C. 215. 828.452.9077.

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