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Infiltrate More, Shed Less (Wayne Peterson, Urban Conservationist)

Can the past provide the key to the future of water quality? Get Wayne Petersen's take on "green development."


We need to pay attention to urban soil quality so that we can hold more water where it falls on the landscape. If we can infiltrate more and shed less, we're going to do two very important things. We're going to reduce the amount of water that enters our streams and rivers, which will reduce flood potentials. And, number two, we will improve water quality. As water moves through the soil profile, the biological activity will purify that water. Water that moves into the soil profile and has to work hard to get off this landscape will emerge down gradient in a much purer form than surface runoff, which can pick up the sediment we talked about earlier -- the nutrients we talked about earlier. If your car has dripped oil on the driveway, all of those things can move as surface runoff. So the more rainfall we can encourage to enter the soil profile, the better our water quality and the condition our streams will be.

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Explore More: Water Quality
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