The Village Down River
Location Salisbury, MD
Client Terra Firma, LLC
Size 150 acres, 49 lots
Date of Completion 2009
The Village Down River is a low-impact, 150-acre community located along the Wicomico River, just outside Salisbury on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Half the community’s land has been dedicated to open-space, and contains over 2 miles of hiker/biker trails. Local developer Terra Firma sought GMB’s expertise in stormwater management and wastewater treatment to develop this 49-lot “green” community.
As the Salisbury area’s first “green” community, The Village Down River incorporates the latest in environmentally friendly building practices and a zero nitrate central sewer system. The private gated community is buffered by a 100-acre nature area that is home to more than 150 species of wildfowl, and the scenic Wicomico River.
The community was designed in accordance with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)’s new stormwater regulations that mandate the use of Environmental Site Design (ESD) to the maximum extent possible (MEP). The stormwater plan incorporates and preserves the site’s existing natural features while ensuring appropriate levels of treatment to protect the Wicomico River and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.
This site design had to satisfy MDE’s water quality and recharge requirements as well as the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area 10% Rule, which mandates reduction of post-development pollution load to 10% below predevelopment load. Natural Area Conservation, Disconnection of Rooftop Runoff, Disconnection of Non-Rooftop Runoff, Sheet Flow to Buffers, and Open Channel Use were all utilized to achieve the desired level of stormwater treatment while preserving the site’s natural features.
Road drainage is treated through bio-swales. Three (3) bioretention areas were installed to further manage water quality from roadway runoff. A “stepped”, or tiered, created wetlands system was utilized to treat additional road drainage at the project entrance, and at the connection to existing Riverside Drive. Existing shoreline buffers were retained to treat stormwater runoff that sheet flows from proposed lots, and preserve a natural buffer along the River. Natural resource areas were conserved to minimize development near the waterfront, protect the existing shoreline, and filter pollutants from surface and ground water. A two (2) foot-wide stone trench filled with river rock surrounding the perimeter of each house will replace downspouts, and will ensure sheet flow is maintained to the buffer areas so that sediment and nutrients can be filtered before runoff reaches the Wicomico River.
The community’s wastewater treatment system involved identifying a treatment process capable of meeting the State’s requirements for subsurface disposal at the site. Design included a low-pressure pipe collection system, flow equalization tank, biological treatment process, sludge holding tank, equipment building, effluent holding pond, and subsurface drip irrigation system. Work also included preparing plans and specifications and obtaining permits for construction.
The sewage treatment system utilized for The Village Down River is a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) plant capable of biological nutrient removal (BNR) followed by drip irrigation for land treatment of treated wastewater.
Construction was completed by the Owner with GMB providing construction administration and inspection services.