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Making a difference in the environment!
6-6-11_55_thumb.jpgJoseph Naper no doubt thought the area that would someday be Naperville was a good place to bring his family and friends because it had an essential natural resource - the DuPage River, which supplied a constant water supply. Today, Naper Settlement’s stormwater improvements help to insure that the DuPage River becomes a cleaner water source for generations to come.

The permeable concrete pavers installed during the summer of 2011 will help to purify rainwater that eventually makes its way through the DuPage River Watershed. The first step in the installation process was to dig trenches 18-24 inches deep, which have perforated pipes installed at the bottom that allows for infiltration of stormwater. Layers of washed, hard, crushed stone of varied size are layered into the trenched area providing a sizeable sub-base for the road bed. Finally, the permeable pavers were installed and a fine crushed granite was filled in between the pavers. When it rains, the water seeps through the crushed granite on the sides of the permeable pavers, and the crushed rock sub-base acts as a filter, removing impurities. The pavers also reduce runoff and flooding, which is an asset to the site. By improving the quality of the water that eventually drains into the river, it recharges the river, allowing plant and animal life to return to an ecologically balanced environment.

When the settlers first came to the area, they had difficulty plowing the land because the native prairie grass and plants had deep roots. These roots collected water and acted like a sponge, releasing water slowly back into the soil. The rain gardens at Naper Settlement recreate that long-ago prairie-type soil with native plants. These plants also act as filters and as vehicles for water to get back into the ground and recharge the aquifer.

Funding for the estimated $2.3 million Roadways and Stormwater Management Project was provided, in part, by:

Stormwater Celebration• City of Naperville Capital Improvement Program
• DuPage County Stormwater Management Water Quality Improvement Program
• Kane DuPage Soil and Water Conservation District
• State of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Section 319 of the Clean Water Act
• State of Illinois through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
• United States Environmental Protection Agency
• Tellabs Foundation • DuPage Community Foundation
• Nicor • Compass Surveying Ltd. • Wight & Co.

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