Detroit Company Working to Fix Belle Isle’s Drainage Issues

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.

Image credit: Nina Ignaczak

About the Author

Marissa Gawel

Associate News Producer

Fan of road trips and roasted vegetables. Currently reports from WDET’s newsroom.   Follow @marissagawel

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