Rain can pollute rivers and streams — but NJ towns can do something
The Trenton-based New Jersey Future is offering a "toolkit" to enable towns and cities in the state to reduce pollution from storm water runoff with what they call "green infrastructure."
Director Louise Wilson says their toolkit can train towns in implementing techniques to keep stormwater clean.
"Whether that is animal waste, or fertilizers or pesticides, and oil residue from the streets and such," she said. "That is what ends up as it goes through pipes, into the creeks and rivers and lakes that we all live near."
Green infrastructure also helps municipalities deal with nuisance flooding, which "is the kind of flooding that happens after a moderate or a quick downpour. It is not the 6 inches over two hours deluge, but it is much more common," she said.
"Many of us experience flooded intersections and flooded basements and flooded streets. It is just happening a lot more than it used to."
Wilson says green infrastructure keys on absorbing that storm water directly into the ground.
"It will help very, very much to take the pressure off of gray infrastructure and helps towns or cities reduce or eliminate those raw sewage overflows that happen so often," she said.
Gray infrastructure refers to the traditional system of pipes and storm sewers that take water away.
The toolkit offers a range of non-polluting storm water management strategies. For New Jersey towns interested in finding out more about this, Wilson says gitoolkit.njfuture.org is the way to get directly to the toolkits.