Martinez: Belmont Terrace, retaining rain on a slope

Pacheco Boulevard and Little Valley Road, Martinez, CA. Map

Dense housing built on a hillsides, Belmont Terrace temporarily stores some rain runoff in basin-like planters. These act as short-term holding ponds, slowing storm flows, reducing peak flows, and letting some water soak into soil.

As the photos below show, the tub-like appearance softens as plants grow in. Click on an image for a larger version.

Left, new in 2008. Right, 2010.

Left, new in 2008. Right, 2010.
Below, pipes link some basins.

Left, plumbing was visible during 2008 construction (click for larger image). Drain left brings runoff from parking, raised drain in foreground retains some runoff, vertical white pipe behind it prevents flooding if other outlets are blocked. Right, closely spaced homes and shared driveways reduce the development’s overall “footprint,” but mean that nearly all surfaces are covered by roofs or concrete.