A pilot project is keeping streets clear of water in a west side Detroit neighborhood.

Joan Nassauer, University of Michigan

A green project in Detroit is finding new ways to treat storm water run-off. ​Bio-retention gardens have been placed in vacant lots in Detroit’s Warrendale neighborhood to hold wastewater.

Project Head Joan Nassauer [nahs-ow-urh] from the University of Michigan says the plots contain a more absorbent type of soil.

“We’re not only holding water from the immediate surrounding landscape. We are also holding water that might otherwise be flooding the streets or pouring down the street,” Nassauer says. 

Nassauer says only flowers will be grown in the garden since storm water run-off could include containments that are not good for produce. She says the shrubs and flowers in the garden were chosen because they are low-maintenance.