PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A pilot project has kept over 600,000 gallons of rainwater out of Peoria's sewer system.
The city's two-block Adams Street project uses rain gardens, permeable pavers and other techniques to retain water. It has diverted 638,000 gallons of water since Oct. 22.
A single rainstorm can send 32 million gallons of rainwater rushing into Peoria's combined sewer system. That system feeds into the city treatment plant and then the Illinois River.
Rainwater overloads the system 25 to 30 times per year, sending sewage into the river.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has pressed Peoria since the 1980s to solve the problem.
A civil engineer with the city says Peoria would need 250 similarly scaled projects to counter the 160 million gallons of yearly rainfall.