Rivers clean-up gets a "Green" scrub - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Rivers clean-up gets a "Green" scrub

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This is what's going right into the Ottawa River near Secor: oil, grease and dissolved metals plunging right back into the watershed.

"Rather than just collecting the water in say a catch-basin or a pipe and releasing it directly, that green storm-water infrastructure can also be cheap - relatively cheap and be effective and also be much more attractive," Cyndee Gruden said. 

University of Toledo Engineering Professor Cyndee Gruden and her team do what most dread.   They head into the rain, measuring what's in the water and how to remove those harmful chemicals.   Trees will soon sift pollutants and slow down erosion.

"So, like any place where there's urbanization, the water quality has definitely gone downhill... the water levels change quickly, during rain events," Dr. Gruden said.  "The velocities of the water can get really high, which can cause erosion, and so it's a problem."

Green stormwater is an old idea, but it's getting a new look.  Instead of piping the water to treatment plants or just dumping it, scientists and builders create water gardens and wetlands.  

"So these natural features do a great job of treating the water but they also add to the beauty of our environment."
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