American Society of Civil Engineers

Urban Stream Construction “One Rock at a Time”

by Charles Taylor, Jr., P.E., (Project engineer, Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc. Corporation, 211 Quail Creek Lane, Greenville, SC 29615)
Section: Urban Hydrology & Draingage, pp. 1-8, (doi:

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: World Water & Environmental Resources Congress 2003
Abstract: An aesthetically pleasing back-yard water feature was constructed "one rock at a time" by diverting water onto a property. The construction methodology is considered being in direct contrast of the traditional method of shedding all rainwater from residential property in the Upstate of South Carolina. The owner obtained local granite material from the nearby South Carolina Mountains over a ten-year period. Water resources were diverted from a small drainage area, roof run-off, air conditioner condensation, and infiltration from soil in the terraced landscape created in conjunction with the stream. Stream flow varies depending upon rainfall and drought conditions but at certain times a base flow can be achieved for several days. Natural and locally imported vegetation was installed with the help of homemade grass-clipping mulch that assist the rock structural material with erosion control. Special features such as rock and railroad tie bridges, a hammock, and a sitting area enhance the enjoyment of the artificially created urban stream. The home site was successfully converted from a steep unusable piece of land with a red-mud washed out ditch into a beautifully landscaped property highlighted by an exceptional water feature that was created contrary to ordinary. The natural environment of the area was also significantly enhanced for enjoyment of the local fauna and wildlife. Low impact development and rainwater control is demonstrated, in the extreme.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Rivers and streams
South Carolina
Urban areas