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Originally built in the 1920s and “once home to the famous Tourister Luggage Company, Tourister Mill is now a stunning waterfront apartment community, on the beautiful bay of Warren, Rhode Island”1. As part of the new renovation, the developer Brady Sullivan Properties had to redesign surrounding parking lots and roadways while creatively addressing unique construction and design challenges.
Given the development’s location directly along the bay, it was imperative to comply with the Rhode Island state stormwater quality permits, which closely manage land use.



“The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) serves as the chief steward of the state’s natural resources – from beautiful Narragansett Bay to our local waters and green spaces to the air we breathe. (Their) mission put simply is to protect, restore, and promote our environment to ensure Rhode Island remains a wonderful place to live, visit, and raise a family.”
In order to comply with Rhode Island regulations, the developers of Tourister Mill Apartments were required to implement Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater treatment systems to mitigate the hazardous pollutants generated from their impervious areas. Pollutants related to this property’s use could include:
• Nutrients & Bacteria
• Sediments, Trash & Debris
• Oils & Grease


In the original parking lot design, 18 bulky stormwater systems with low-efficiency standards were specified to provide the necessary pollutant removal, but with those units, the development would have lost 34 parking spaces.
After consulting a local stormwater adviser with Bio Clean, engineers found a redesign option that would maximize the limited open space for occupant amenities and parking.


The Modular Wetlands Linear utilizes horizontal flow, a design that allows the system to yield a higher treatment capacity in a smaller footprint than competitor systems. Additionally, the Modular Wetlands can incorporate an open planter bed that allows it to blend into the surrounding landscape. These advantages gave the five Modular Wetlands the ability to adapt and fit without losing a single parking space.

An elevated water table also posed a serious challenge. Non-proprietary bioretention systems would never be feasible, as tidal changes would overwhelm and wash out the system, while bulkier systems would require deeper excavation and unrestrained construction costs. The Modular Wetlands, however, is a precast concrete vault, completely enclosing multiple treatment stages: pretreatment, biofiltration, and discharge – saving land and long-term maintenance costs. Lastly, the horizontal flow design maximizes surface area by circulating stormwater flow around the WetlandMedia chamber. This gives the Modular Wetlands the ability to provide superior treatment in far less space.


  1. Bradley Sullivan Properties Website


Modular Wetlands Linear Advantages

  • Horizontal flow biofiltration
  • Pretreatment chamber removes 99% sediment, oil, grease
  • 50% smaller than downward flow planters
  • California Water Board approved Full Trash Capture device
  • Greater filter surface area
  • Vector control approved design
  • No depressed planter area

Learn More About the Modular Wetlands System Linear

Our local stormwater experts come to you!

The Modular Wetlands® System Linear (MWS Linear), often considered the most trusted standard for stormwater compliance, uses a smaller footprint yet provides more treatment surface area. It is the only stormwater biofilter using horizontal flow which improves performance and minimizes maintenance. Request a Lunch & Learn today, and get regionally-focused insight and solutions from a local Bio Clean stormwater expert.