Detroit Company Working to Fix Belle Isle’s Drainage Issues

Due to existing infrastructure, water drainage on Belle Isle costs the city $1.5 million annually.

A Detroit start-up is using a new kind of plastic to prevent rain fall on Belle Isle from running into the city’s sewer system. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department charges $1.5 million annually to process storm water from Belle Isle. Gregory McPartlin runs Parjana–the company that’s installing a porous plastic membrane into the park. He says the material directs water away from the sewers and into the ground and the river.

“A fancy piece of patented plastic that creates capillary action in the earth and infiltration so the earth just naturally absorbs the water as it was originally intended.”

-Gregory McPartlin

McPartlin says the area with the new pieces of plastic has already reduced storm water flow by more than 60-percent. He says the company is finalizing funding to install the material across all of Belle Isle.