The Ford House

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House tells the story of the home life of a prominent American family.

Managing Storm Water

To improve the ecological health of Ford Cove and Lake St. Clair, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House has implemented a green approach to storm-water management. We upgraded the drainage system to direct property runoff into a newly constructed bioswale, which filters the water naturally before entering Lake St. Clair.

Aging pumps and drain lines have been replaced with the latest technology and new pipes up to 24” in diameter. The underground construction was completed by computer-controlled boring machines to limit impact on the property.

What’s a bioswale?

The bioswale pond is located near the walking path to Bird Island. The bio-swale is a filtration system using natural materials to pre-treat and clean the runoff water before it enters Lake St. Clair. The whole idea is to let nature have time to soak up excess nitrogen and phosphorous before letting the water enter the larger ecosystem.

All the storm sewer systems across the estate drain into a 50,000 gallon holding tank. The solid waste is filtered off, and then the water flows through pervious barriers that capture the phosphorous and nitrogen that would otherwise flow into Ford Cove.

Plant life, including special grasses, in the pond helps soak up excess elements like nitrogen, phosphorous. Soils filter the water further. And microorganisms help break down pollutants into healthier materials.