Project need and benefits
The first phase of the Upper Sand Creek Basin was constructed in 1995 and has been expanded periodically since then. The 2013 project will expand the basin to its ultimate footprint, connect the basin to Sand Creek and address a number of critical needs in the watershed:
The USCB is the second largest basin in the Marsh Creek flood protection system (second only to the Marsh Creek Reservoir). The USCB provides 900 acre feet of storage, enough to contain a 100-year storm without spilling.
As this picture shows, Sand Creek through the basin site is currently degraded and offers poor habitat. The construction of the basin will further disturb this reach of Sand Creek. An important component of the project is the reconstruction and restoration of 3600 linear feet of Sand Creek as well as the construction of 10 acres of wetlands. The creek and basin will be re-vegetated with native plants such as cottonwoods, buckeyes, native roses, oaks and other plants that were salvaged from the project site before the start of construction. These plants are being nurtured and grown in the District's native plant nursery and will be replanted on site in late fall 2013 once the main construction is complete. The restoration also includes the planting of 2500 willows that will be harvested from other nearby sources. The willows will help provide shade for the reconstructed Sand Creek running through the basin.
The District frequently partners with local cities or park districts, to provide trails, parks and public access on District facilities. For the Upper Sand Creek Basin Restoration Project, the District has partnered with the City of Antioch on a future sports park. The basin has been specifically designed to accommodate the roadways, parking and level areas needed for the future park. The current design of the sports park includes soccer and baseball fields, as well as tennis courts, parking, and a children's playground. Basins such as USCB are excellent for this type of joint use because the area needed for floodwater storage is infrequently used. During sunny days, the large, flat and dry bottom of the basin can be used for other purposes, such as recreation.
Local examples of this type of joint use include Creekside Park in Brentwood and the Laurel Ballfields in Oakley.
Like it or not, there is significant trash that enters the basin through the local storm drain system. This photo shows some of the floating trash that has accumulated in the bottom of the existing basin.
The District has designed an innovative trash capture system that will intercept and capture trash such as this to prevent it from flowing into the restored creek and farther downstream in our local waterways.