The Infinity Park Water Garden, Yixing, China
Celebrating the clean water
In the center of the Infinity Park a water garden is planned. Its main function is to revitalize the effluent of the Waste Water Treatment Plant. People can experience clear and cleaned water as unique quality of Infinity Park. SMARTLAND designed the water garden to show people all aspects of water. It has a large variety of spaces and atmospheres.
The water flows from the WWTP on the irrigation channel towards the Agriculture Centre. There’s a wide overflow at the aqueduct where the water falls 2 meters in the first basin of the water garden. This aqueduct will be combined with a wide and elevated boardwalk. This is the major walking route between Infinity Centre and the Agriculture Centre.
The first step is to explicitly show the outflowing water by a large cascade. It will be built by brick walls on which people can sit or walk. The little walls and dams divide the water garden into different water levels. At the same time these walls and dams create a network of little paths, making it accessible to visitors. Close to the Infinity Centre brick walls are used, further out to the river and wetland changing into small green dykes. In the dams a number of cascades and overflow points are built to connect the basins and bring more oxygen, dynamics and sound in the water. Stepping stones and boardwalks add even more to the accessibility of the water garden. The shapes of the dams and the planted vegetation are designed in a way that the water garden changes from cultural and enclosed near the Infinity Centre to natural and open near the river and bigger wetland.
Revitalising the effluent
The water garden is used to revitalize the outflowing water from the Concept WWTP. The different compartments of the water garden are all designed slightly different. With different water levels, depths and profiles, creating different aquatic habitats. Plants and animals are introduced in such a way that the water garden serves as an eco-integration area. In Dutch this step is called the ‘Water Harmonica’.
• First step is to maximally bring oxygen back into the water and to introduce small Crustaceans and Molluscs who use the oxygen to filter and use some smaller organic particles from the water;
• Second step is to introduce bigger animals like little fish who feed on the Crustaceans and deposit essential nutrients for restarting the microbial life in the water;
• Third step is to introduce helophytes and submerse water plants to improve root and leaf aeration, for further aerobic microbial denitrification of the water;
• Fourth step is introducing the rhythm of water fluctuations from the river system and with that intermittently aerobic and anaerobic microbial processes in the soil.
The principle of the ‘water harmonica’ is developed by measuring and optimising a great number of ecological key factors, such as: concentration of suspended particles and free bacteria, organic pollution and oxygen content, concentration of pathogens and toxins, nutrient levels, biodiversity, ecological complexity, etcetera. We will design and integrate facilities for these specific measurements and experiments within the structure of the water garden.
Children play for fun. As a result, they learn and develop. SMARTLAND designed a number of playful educational elements for the water garden. Of course, people are never too old to learn, therefore the educational elements in the water garden will also be interesting for adults.
The water wall
The water wall is a 45 m long wall in the water garden. A water feature integrated in the wall challenges children to play.
The water table
People can pump up some water from the water garden basin into the water table. Magnifying glasses are mounted on flexible arms at the edge of the table. Small organisms like Crustaceans and Molluscs. become visible in a thin water film on the white subsurface.
The water cylinders
On a platform in the water garden will be two transparent cylinders. The first cylinder shows the dirty water. The second cylinder is fixed and shows the clean water that’s produced by the WWTP.
The water cube
The water cube gives insight into the water of the basin. A water volume in a glass tank is lifted above the water surface. It uses the capillary functioning and pulling the vacuum of the glass water tank that’s upside down in the water garden basin. This way the underwater life will be revealed.