Green infrastructure solutions aim to protect water supply

Green infrastructure solutions aim to protect water supply

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GALESBURG — A highway of subterranean pipes channel fresh water to and sewage away from Illinois’ homes, businesses, schools and parks. Pipes also carry runoff from rainstorms and snowmelt. This runoff includes pollutants swept away from parking lots, construction sites, and streets, potentially poisoning the waters and habitats crucial to wildlife and plants.

Illinois’ 155 lakes and 87,110 miles of rivers and streams are vulnerable to the impact of runoff. The Illinois Climate Assessment indicates Illinois is experiencing more extreme weather, including more rain water in a shorter period of time, combined with longer periods of summer drought and higher temperatures.

Infrastructure to move that stormwater, located under roads, is aging and unable to keep up with increased amounts of water. Many communities are turning to innovative solutions that not only help manage stormwater, but give people parks to play in and habitats for birds and butterflies.

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