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Eugene is using rain gardens to filter pollutants out of the storm drains

Rain Gardens: Filtering the toxins and pesticides out of our storm drains

EUGENE, Ore. - The start of the rainy season means a lot of water runoff into our storm drains, and in Eugene, that water running off from streets and houses is piped directly into the Willamette River.

It's a process most major cities use for disposal, but that means things like dirt, fertilizer, oils and pesticides are also getting piped into our streams.

Thanks to Rain Gardens, the soils and plants are chose to filter our rain water and put clean water into our storm drains.

"The soil in the rain garden helps filter out pollutants in the road, helps filter out pollutants from our urban environment and then slows the water down before it enters the pipe storm system, which ultimately ends up in the Willamette River," said Doug Singer, a Civil Engineer for Eugene Public Works.

This project started out on an experimental basis 10 years ago, but just within the last 2-3 years, public works crews have been increasing the number of rain gardens in the city.

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