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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Homeowners and gardeners considering landscaping projects in 2020 can now turn to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD’s) new Green Neighbor Guide for green infrastructure solutions that support sustainable stormwater management practices.

The MWRD’s Green Neighbor Guide offers instructions and tips to implement various green infrastructure installations. The guide is now posted on 

“The Green Neighbor Guide offers practical solutions for managing stormwater on individual properties,” said MWRD Commissioner Kim DuBuclet. “We encourage homeowners and landscapers to check out the new Green Neighbor Guide and to consider green infrastructure the next time they are planning a project.”

The new guide targets private property owners, the general public and landscape professionals seeking ways to play a role in reducing flooding, while also improving yard and garden space. The guide empowers neighbors and homeowners to implement these green infrastructure tactics to help the MWRD in managing stormwater. These practices include directions for downspout disconnections, rain barrel installations, planting bioswales and rain gardens, constructing permeable pavement and installing dry wells.

The MWRD is soliciting participation on its various social media channels by encouraging homeowners to share their green infrastructure practices on social media. Participants can submit photos of their green infrastructure solutions by the hashtag #MWRDGreenNeighborGuide and #LiveGreen or email

The Green Neighbor Guide complements the MWRD’s work with local municipalities, agencies and partners to implement flood control and green infrastructure projects. The smaller scale green infrastructure applications represent practical tools designed to capture water and allow it to infiltrate into the ground before it enters the traditional conveyance system. These installations store, infiltrate, and/or evaporate stormwater, thereby mimicking the natural water cycle. By using natural or biological modes of controlling stormwater, green infrastructure can store water that slowly soaks into the underlying soil. This is important because it reduces the amount of water flowing through gray infrastructure and collection systems that are often overwhelmed by increasingly intense rain events experienced throughout the region.

“Green infrastructure can help to reduce those peak flows and alleviate flooding and basement backups,” said Commissioner Cam Davis. “These practices can be effective in reducing wet-weather flows to combined sewer systems, reducing combined sewer overflows to local waterways, and reducing runoff volumes and improving local water quality.”

The guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to improve stormwater management on individual properties, helping protect the local water environment, and reduce a community’s flooding.

MWRD to Release Green Neighbor Guide.pdf

Press Release

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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