Crews Prep Land for Reclamation Pond

Work on soil near Erwin Road to take place through winter

Part of the Sustainable Duke Series
Crews have been working to clear space for Duke's reclamation pond, which will hold 6.7 million gallons of water. Photo by Bryan Roth.
Crews have been working to clear space for Duke's reclamation pond, which will hold 6.7 million gallons of water. Photo by Bryan Roth.

Crews building a water reclamation pond between Circuit Drive and Towerview Road are now working to prepare the land for the new structure that is expected to save millions of gallons of potable water a year.

A large portion of work will now take place to create seven "sediment basins," which are small ponds made to prevent erosion of soil and keep soil at the construction site from entering the watershed that feeds Jordan Lake.

The sediment basins work by allowing water to travel into the ground while the basin captures soil. The clean water is then able to enter the watershed. Basins at the reclamation pond site range from 30- to 100-feet wide.

Steve Carrow, project manager with Duke's Facilities Management Department, said ground preparation at the site near Erwin Road and work on the sediment basins and 20-feet tall dam will continue for up to eight months.

He noted that amenities like the boardwalk will begin to take shape in the spring of 2014. Once complete by next summer, the pond will collect rainwater and runoff from 22 percent of the main campus area for use in a nearby chilled water plant, which pumps water across campus to cool buildings. The pond will hold 6.7 million gallons of water.

This spring, work began to make room for the pond by removing some trees, which have been sent to a mill to be manufactured into usable wood for a pavilion, boardwalk, walking path and amphitheater with lawn seating. Wood not reused on campus will be sold, with the revenue going to Duke Forest. Replanting will take place next year to install over 1,800 trees, including 60 tree species, including maples, cedars and magnolias.

Crews recently started grinding tree stumps and brush that will be turned into mulch for use across Duke's campuses. This summer's high amount of rainfall delayed the reclamation pond construction by about 12 days.