New York architect, Ate Atema, gives a TED talk about the new and fantastic idea of Street Creeks. (These are the rain gardens we’ve mentioned before.) Street Creeks are a new type of sidewalk gutter that collects dirty water from the street, so that it doesn’t run straight into local waterways.
After it rains the water from the street drains into a metal grate covered trough. This trough then with the use of gravity take the dirty street water into the normal catch basis through an inlet. In the catch basin the larger items in the dirty street water are removed. Items like plastic bags and that cup of coffee some jerk threw on the street. The dirty street water, now without larger items, proceeds into a cistern, a waterproof receptacle (another basin tough type thing). The dirty water through the cistern is sent to a bioswale. The bioswale, which are a bunch of special plants, naturally remove the metals, silt, and other pollution from the water. And blame the dirty street is cleaner and not running into local waterways.
Ate Atema proposes in the TED talk that street creeks should be tested right here in Gowanus, but it seems that testing has already begun. If you walk by the Can factory on 3rd Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues you’ll see some of the grates running along the northern side of the street. We assume these are Street Creeks.