April is Overflow Action Month
This month Friends of the Chicago River and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) collaborate on Overflow Action Awareness. This effort engages the public about the importance of everyday actions in water use to help eliminate threats to the river system and Lake Michigan posed by combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
The awareness campaign also provides tips on what individuals and families can do to conserve water use before, during, and after heavy rainfall to reduce the possibility of CSOs. Tips such as holding off on laundry, dishwasher use, and turning off the tap when brushing teeth. Longer-term strategies for capturing rainwater include gardening with native plants. Native plants have deep root systems, which absorb much more rain than nonnatives (especially turf grass), and provide a multitude of benefits including food and habitat for birds, butterflies, and bees.
Watch a short video featuring Friends’ Policy Manager Chelsey Grassfield for an overview of Overflow Action Awareness Month and tips on how people can help eliminate CSO’s.
Last year’s Overflow Action Awareness Month netted a six percent increase in sign-ups for Overflow Action alerts, garnered nearly 94,000 social media impressions and engagements, and was the subject of significant news coverage.