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Stormwater and Bowling Green

Spring and summer rains are essential to our City, but they can also bring issues in the form of flooding and water pollution. The City of Bowling Green is always working to improve our stormwater program in order to help prevent future flooding and water quality issues.

Stormwater is water that originates during rain events and does not soak into the ground but becomes surface runoff, which either flows directly into surface waterways (rivers and streams), or is channeled into storm sewers, which eventually discharge to surface waters.  These waters can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants. If heavy rains occur, flooding can also develop.

All cities deal with stormwater pollutants and flooding, but Bowling Green is unique. Bowling Green and Warren County are located in a karst region that is made up of caves, sinkholes, springs, and underground streams. There are very few surface streams and rivers. While most cities use streams and storm sewer systems for handling urban stormwater, Bowling Green uses a series of caves to handle water runoff.  A major concern with alternative methods of handling stormwater is water quality. Bowling Green faces unique challenges with respect to stormwater management.

Many of the challenges that are created by our unique typography are handled in large part by our Public Works Department.  The City of Bowling Green focuses on multiple stormwater projects every year and budgets accordingly. Each year BG focuses on various stormwater issues that can range from large scale retention basin projects to smaller neighborhood concerns.

In addition to the City working to fix the large scale stormwater problems, there are MANY things that the average citizen can do to help our water quality.  First, you can use household cleaners that are labeled non-toxic (that may be something to do anyway), pick up animal waste from your back yard (hey – we know it’s not pleasant but it’s better than drinking it), never blow sweep, or rake leaves/grass clippings into storm drains or sinkholes, and properly maintain your car to reduce leakage of oil and other fluids.  These are just a few hints and tips – for a full list, you can visit http://www2.bgky.org/publicworks/planningdesign/stormwater/index.php.

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