Ways you can help keep pollutants out of the Wabash River

Purdue students are encouraging the Greater Lafayette community to keep the Wabash River clean and clear.

Posted: Apr. 13, 2018 10:30 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lately, the Wabash River has been looking more murky than usual. One Purdue student said it's because of the amount of storm water entering the river. He's a part of a larger student group hoping to decrease that problem.

More than 2,000,000 gallons of storm water is now being diverted from the river each year. That's with help from students who meet at the Wilmeth Active Learning Center for a service learning project.

The student's mission is to decrease the amount of storm water run off that enters the Wasbash River. They do this by installing the best management practices around Greater Lafayette.

During the week the students are building rain gardens with native plants at different locations and they'll be installing rain barrels that hold 55 gallons of water.

"Native plants have really deep root systems that help to filter out pollutants that are in the water and also help to absorb it back into the plant itself and help it infiltrate into the ground water," said Purdue student YeChan Lim. "Those two practices help to divert the water away from the Wabash River."

You can purchase these barrels yourself to help make a large difference to a local landmark.

"Even if you want to implement a project like this at home and you don't think it would have a large impact, it actually does," Lim said. "So small scale project such as these can have a really large impact on the health of the Wabash River."

The students are installing two rain barrels at the United Way of Greater Lafayette. Lim said it helps divert about 23% of the storm water runoff.

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