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Warren Wilson College
Campus Box 6323
P.O. Box 9000
Asheville, NC 28815-9000


Please refer comments or questions about this website to Ellen Querin.

Bio-Retention Ponds

Why We Do It:

As Warren Wilson College continues to grow and develop, incorporating bio-retention ponds is an integral part of our development plan.  When creating new buildings, natural mechanisms for absorbing and filtering storm water are displaced by impervious surfaces. As storm-water concentrates its velocity increases, dramatically increasing soil erosion and sedimentation of our waterways. Sediment is currently the number one pollutant of waterways and storm-water pollution is becoming an increasingly costly issue. Incorporating bio-retention ponds into new developments allows us to simply and intentionally neutralize these effects and keep water and soil resources on-site.

How We Do It:

There are three types of bio-retention ponds currently in use by Warren Wilson College. The first type consists of two ponds that exist by our newly constructed Schafer dorms.  They are sixteen feet deep and are filled with a soil media from Winston-Salem. They are planted with trees and shrubs and work to slow down and filter the runoff from the Schafer complex. Pipes at the bottom of the pond take controlled amounts of water to the storm drain system, which leads to the French Broad River.

In addition, behind our newly constructed Orr Cottage there is a similar trough. Instead of soil media, however, it is filled with gravel. Fabric is then layered on top of the gravel and soil is layered on top of that. Trees and shrubs are planted in that soil, making the existence of the bio-retention pond completely unknown to the observer. It works the same way as the first pond, transporting water via a pipe to the storm drain system.

The third type of bio-retention pond used by Warren Wilson College is a wet pond, located by our new constructed Village dorms. In addition to controlling velocity of storm water runoff it provides beneficial habitat to a number of species, including frogs and snapping turtles.