Stormwater Management in Central Toledo

Elected officials, neighbors, and interested citizens joined a bus tour of the Junction Avenue neighborhood September 29. They saw “blooms on Blum,” part of a greening plan on Blum street, heard about plans for a possible new City of Toledo park at Junction and Nebraska, and learned about a large sewer replacement program on Tecumseh and nearby streets. TMACOG has been partnering with the Junction Coalition since 2014 on ideas for making better use of vacant property and adding rain gardens to neighborhood plans.

The City of Toledo Waterways Initiative, which addresses federal requirements to separate storm and sanitary sewers, has been ongoing since 2002. One of the last parts of the project will take place in the Junction Avenue neighborhood on Tecumseh and neighboring streets. When the stormwater is separated from the sanitary sewers in this area, the stormwater will go directly to Swan Creek. Stormwater is not treated in a water treatment plant. To clean the water of petroleum and other pollutants that can be picked up as water flows over streets, seven rain gardens are planned as part of the sewer separation operation. Stormwater will be directed to the bioretention areas including bioswales on nearby Collingwood Avenue. The water held in a bioretention area drains slowly through engineered soil where pollutants are treated naturally and by-products are taken up in the biomass of the plants. Many bioretention areas are planted with native species that are suited to flood and drought, with deep roots that hold soil in place.

The original sewer improvement plan for the neighborhood involved underground storage of combined storm and sewer water to prevent overflows, but the plan was changed to include the green infrastructure. City of Toledo Engineer Scott Sibley said that plans were revised to incorporate “state of the art stormwater treatment.” The EPA was in favor of the change in plans. The project is scheduled for 2018 and will include some road repair as part of the construction plans.

Public tour of a bioretention area.

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