Can Worms Combat Stormwater?

Detroit is taking an innovative approach to tackling urban runoff

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Embracing innovation, Detroit is taking a new approach to handling the issue of stormwater runoff by using worms in a newly tilled vacant lot. That’s right — worms.

If all goes according to plan, the 85,000 worms will burrow several feet into the ground, loosening up the soil to allow rainwater and snowmelt to filter down into the dirt instead of running off into nearby sewers, USA Today reports.

“We’re looking at ways to, one, reduce the amount of stormwater the city’s dealing with, and also, two, thinking about innovative ways to use existing infrastructure as well as beautifying the neighborhoods,” says Wade Rose, head of Greening of Detroit’s vacant land effort.

Other stormwater-control measures the city is considering include various kinds of urban agriculture, beautification projects involving wildflowers, and commercializing lots by growing shrubs and trees for sale.

“Let’s think innovatively,” Rose says. “This gives us the opportunity to be very innovative and very forward-thinking and kind of set the precedent for other cities … to take the models that we’re setting here in Detroit and expand those on a much larger scale.”

Source: USA Today


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