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Alley Becomes Test Area for SBEP Project


SARASOTA – An alley in downtown Sarasota has become a test case for an innovative way to improve stormwater quality. A new underground stormwater filtration system was installed recently while scheduled improvements were made to the alley located behind Main Street from Lemon Avenue to Central Avenue. 


"Urban stormwater runoff is a major water pollution source," explained Alison Albee, an Environmental Specialist with the City of Sarasota. "The untreated runoff includes grease, oil, chemicals, debris, and nutrients; it eventually flows into the waterways draining into Sarasota Bay. The goal of the filtration system is to clean the runoff before it reaches the storm drain.

The new system is designed to capture the first one-half inch of rainfall, and the pollutants, which wash down the alley. The runoff goes through a 4-foot by 40-foot area of permeable block pavers and then a filter system of rocks and sand. The water then flows through a perforated pipe encased with a filter sock before being deposited as filtered water into the storm drain.

Titan Block donated the paver blocks for the pilot program. Tests will be conducted over the next year to evaluate the results. Learn more by emailing Alison Albee.   


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