The Future of Stormwater Management


Kansas City has become a national leader in stormwater management by combining green infrastructure and digital technology! Read about why we should push for Stormwater Utility near us!


Sewers are buried 8 ft underground which creates the perfect out of sight out of mind illusion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are 748 U.S. cities with combined sewer systems, totaling more than 9,000 raw-sewage outfalls, discharging an estimated 850 billion gallons of untreated sewage into U.S. waterways annually (Features, Sidewalk Talk. “The Future of Stormwater Management Runs through Kansas City”). 


During heavy rainfalls, stormwater runoff enters the city’s aging combined sewer system, where it mixes with raw sewage, fills the pipe beyond its capacity, and discharges its overflow through those outfalls and straight into the Blue River. It pollutes riverbanks, parks, beaches, marine life, and drinking water on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.


Kansas City created the unique solution called Smart Sewer Program. Smart Sewer Program: combining green infrastructure to soak up excess rainfall and monitor the rain flow using digital technology. The solution lies in working with the water and not against it. As Kansas City is experiencing more extreme rainfall than it did 10 years ago, the sewer discharge is declining thanks to this program!


To help alleviate the amount of rainfall flowing into sewage systems above ground installations such as rain gardens, bioswales, planted medians, curb bump-outs, and street tree plantings with deep soil cells were introduced. This helped to gather, retain, and use stormwater while also keeping it from overwhelming the sewer system. These solutions  soak up rainfall like a sponge.


Kansas City controls the volume of water in the Gardner Reservoir by using a valve that’s controlled by cloud connected sensors and local weather forecasts. If the reservoir is full and a storm is coming, the technology opens the valve to drain some water and closes it before the storm comes.



Ross Lake Journal: Early July


We are going native with our garden at Ross Lake Park.  Local pollinators, such as butterflies, bees and birds are all adapted to native New Jersey plants.  Their flowers are as varied as the pollinators that visit.  This time of year brings scarlet bee balm, purple coneflowers, and moonbeam tickseed.  Blazing stars send up flower covered spikes and the drooping white flowers of the sweet pepperbush attract with their sweet fragrance. 

  1. Purple coneflower  (Echinacea)
  2. Scarlet beebalm. (Monarda)

3. Moonbeam tickseed (Coreopsis)

4. Blazing star (Liatris)








5.  Sweet pepperbush  (Cethra)








What We Have to Offer

What We Have to Offer

Whether it be trails, parks, brook preserves, a lake or a beach… we got it all! Check out all the awesome places to explore.

  • Takanassee Beach
  • Takanassee Lake
  • Ross Lake Park
  • Tak Trestle Trail
  • Weltz Park
  • Whale Pond Brook Preserve

Watersheds: What are they and why are they important?

What are watersheds? 

Watersheds are areas of land that channels rainfall and snowmelt to streams, creeks, and rivers eventually to outflow areas such as oceans, bays, or reservoirs. These bodies of water supply our drinking water, water for agriculture and manufacturing, and hosts some of our favorite recreational actives such as canoeing or fishing.

Why We Need Clean and Healthy Watersheds

Watersheds play an important part in sustaining life. Various forms of pollution, including runoff and erosion, can interfere with the health of watersheds. They are important to everyone and everything that uses and depends on water. Watersheds can provide critical services such as clean drinking water, productive fisheries, and outdoor recreation that support our economies, environment, and quality of life.

What you can do to help

  • Conserve water; take shorter showers, fix leaks, and turn off the water when not in use
  • Don’t over apply fertilizers; go organic or use slow release fertilizers
  • Pick up after your pets and dispose of waste properly
  • Drive less; try walking or biking more
  • Make an effort to teach others how they can conserve and help protect local watersheds
  • Attend local clean ups/pick up any trash you may see along your way.

Facts and Figures

A national water quality survey of the nation’s rivers and streams showed that 55% of the nation’s flowing waters are in poor biological condition (U.S. EPA, 2013).

Nearly 40% of fish in North American freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes are found to be vulnerable, threatened,  or endangered; nearly twice as many as were included on the imperiled list from a similar survey conducted in 1989 (Jelks et al., 2008).