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More, heavier storms could exacerbate water pollution

Mon, 21 May 2012 04:11:42 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

A study of a half century of Midwestern precipitation that shows increasing storm severity will require new approaches for cities and regional water managers. That's according to Kevin Schaeffer, the Director of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewage District. Schaeffer also says the problem has to be considered at the watershed level, not just the urban environment and that means bringing farmers into the dialog too....

:18    me mid q: important as well

"I think buffers will help immensely, along the waterways to slow down the water, to remove some of the pollutants that getting into the waterways, are they're not the solution by themselves, I think just good management of the crops on some of the fields is important as well."

Schaeffer says even mid sized cities like Bloomington and Normal can reduce the incidence of flash floods by embracing green techniques. He says bioswales, rain gardens and rain barrels, permeable concrete, green roofs and simply repairing aging infrastructure will all help increase the water capacity of urban ground. In the last fifty years the incidents of high rainfall events has gone up 83% in Illinois and the last dozen years show even higher counts of heavy rainfall events.

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