CBU Invites Neighborhood and Homeowner Associations to Learn About Stormwater Management Options

(BLOOMINGTON) – Neighborhood and homeowner associations are invited to schedule a visit from the City of Bloomington Utilities’ Stormwater Education Specialist to learn about options for addressing stormwater. CBU and other City departments offer various initiatives to assist neighborhoods with stormwater concerns, including residential stormwater grants, the new Adopt-a-Drain program, curbside leaf collection, and more.

This year, the City has invested in a variety of sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by recent climate trends. 

In the spring, City Council approved an increase in CBU customers’ monthly stormwater fee to fund infrastructure improvements, including a new $400,000 annual investment in such environmentally friendly features as rain gardens, bioswales, and permeable paving.  

CBU is also expanding its neighborhood stormwater infrastructure program, including grants to help manage and mitigate the effects of stormwater on single-family residential properties. In the spring, 26 property owners applied for $35,000 of available funding through the Residential Stormwater Grants Program, with 13 applicants awarded grants to help construct green stormwater infrastructure projects.  In anticipation of next year’s round of grants, CBU’s Stormwater Education Specialist can share information about such features like rain gardens to help slow down and filter stormwater, retention or detention ponds, vegetated swales, culvert replacement, and other erosion control measures. The Residential Stormwater Grants Program opens for applications in January. 

CBU’s new Adopt-a-Drain program is another initiative designed to manage the challenge of increased rainfall. Storm drains that become clogged with debris such as grass clippings, leaves, and trash can pose danger by creating ponding in the streets and can damage property by flooding below-grade areas.  Land that experiences frequent flooding is particularly vulnerable to erosion. Additionally, debris that goes down the drain eventually makes its way to local waterways, decreasing water quality and adversely affecting wildlife.

Volunteers in the Adopt-a-Drain program commit to keeping a set of storm drains clear by regularly removing debris from the surface of the inlets.  Program participants will also affix markers to drains, reminding residents to keep pollutants from entering them. Residents who notice a storm drain that needs additional maintenance or who are unable to clear the drain themselves may file a uReport.

CBU’s new Adopt-a-Drain program will train volunteers to affix drain markers reminding passersby to keep pollutants out of the waterways.  

Another way the City manages drainage along roadways is through curbside leaf collection.  Each residence will receive a single pickup between November 4 and December 20; the schedule is posted here.  Residents should rake leaves as close to the curb as possible but not in the roadway, blocking drains, or around fire hydrants.  More information about curbside leaf collection is available through the Street Division at street@bloomington.in.gov or (812) 349-3448.

Email stormwater@bloomington.in.gov or call 812-349-3617 to set up a visit to your neighborhood or homeowners association to discuss stormwater education opportunities.  General information about CBU is available here