Stormwater Treatment Facilities are for Everyone!

Published on June 10, 2024

Photograph of a rain barrel

Ever noticed the lush gardens at Wyandotte County Lake or Waterway Park? Or maybe the sprawling green spaces at Wyandotte County Youth Soccer Complex? These are not just your regular parks; they're actually Stormwater Treatment Facilities, or STFs.

Let's break that down. STFs are basically nature's superheroes that combat water-related issues such as flooding and water pollution. At the same time, they spruce up our parks and protect our rivers and streams. What's even cooler is that you can have these heroes right in your backyard.

Experiencing waterlogging in your yard after it rains? Here's how you can turn the situation around:

  • Create a Rain Garden – Picture a garden that doesn't just look great, but also works smart. That's a rain garden. It slows down rainwater, spreads it out, and helps it sink into the ground. This magic garden not only reduces water overflow but also purifies it, refills our underground water reserves, and creates a natural paradise for wildlife. Plus, rain gardens can soak up 30% more water than an equivalent patch of lawn!
  • Set up a Rain Barrel – This is a neat little device that collects and stores rainwater running off your roof. Imagine capturing 600 gallons of water from just an inch of rainfall. You can use this stored water for watering your garden, filling up birdbaths, caring for indoor plants, or cleaning your garden tools.
  • Grow Native Plants – Did you know our local plants can help prevent water runoff? They have deep roots that penetrate the dense clay soil in our area, making it easier for rainwater to be absorbed. As an added bonus, these plants often need less mowing, watering, or chemical treatment.

Here's the best part - the Unified Government has a special program to help you set up an STF at your home or business. However, there's limited funding, and it's given on a first-come, first-served basis. So, hurry up!

If you live in Kansas City, Kansas, you're eligible to apply. Visit the Stormwater Quality Programs webpage for more details or to get your application form.

If you want to learn more or have any questions, simply dial 3-1-1 and ask to speak with Public Works' Stormwater team.