IRU works to stem downtown Boise storm water runoff

Storm water runoff from Boise’s Central Addition neighborhood on the southeast edge of downtown flows directly into the Boise River. (Photo by Liz Paul)

One of Boise’s oldest neighborhoods is also one of the city’s largest sources of polluted storm water.

Located on the southeast edge of downtown between Myrtle and Front streets, the Central Addition neighborhood has old storm water plumbing. Water flows off roofs, parking lots and streets and carries dirt, motor oil, garbage and pet waste directly into the Boise River.

Idaho Rivers United is part of a cooperative campaign with the Idaho chapter of the US Green Building Council, Idaho Smart Growth and others to make the Central Addition area a showcase for neighborhood-level sustainability. Cleaning up storm water pollution is one significant campaign goal.

IRU is working with developers, landowners, Ada County Highway District and the city of Boise to replace old storm water pipes with greener, more beneficial storm water processing methods that filter water naturally before returning it to the water table or to the Boise River.

On a related note, IRU filed a letter with Ada County April 17 seeking Clean Water Act compliance at Expo Idaho and Les Bois racetrack where storm water is also discharged into the Boise River. Read about the letter here.