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Are You "WISE" About Storm Water?

A Green Innovation Grant Project From NYS EFC

"Clean watershed technology begins with the very pavement you park on, the Waterman Center's WISE Project can store and filter more than 14,000 GALLONS of rainwater with each storm!"

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   Go With The Flow! 

   It's All Downhill From Here... 

   Signed, Sealed, Delivered.





   The Right Tool For The Job

Natural Waterfall

The way water moves across the land following a rainstorm has a massive effect on how that water might damage the land, contribute to flooding, or pollute our streams, rivers, and lakes.  The faster water moves, the more it erodes land, picks up sediment and contaminants, and the faster it contributes to raising water levels.  The WISE Project demonstrates several ways to slow and temporarily store runoff which gives it a chance to sink into the ground, evaporate, and be used by plants.  This helps purify the water before it goes any further and contributes to a healthier watershed! 

How water quality is handled upstream has direct effects lower in the watershed.  All of our runoff is funneled through the Susquehanna River Watershed, eventually reaching the Chesapeake Bay!  This massive region of coastline where freshwater mixes with saltwater (an estuary) is incredibly important ecologically and economically.  The storm water practices used throughout the Southern Tier have a direct impact on this important natural resource and those who rely on its fisheries! 

Fishing Net

Roads, roofs, parking lots, and sidewalks made with conventional building materials like asphalt and concrete are examples of impervious surfaces.  Water is unable to move through them and instead runs rapidly across to gutters, drains, and ditches that in turn send rain water as fast as possible toward the nearest body of water.  This system of pollution "superhighways" conveys contaminated water directly to sensitive aquatic habitats and exacerbates the severity of floods.

Image by Jason Leung

There are many different types of sustainable storm water management practices.  Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.  For instance, if not well-maintained porous pavement can become clogged with debris and cease to function.  A practice like porous paving might not be suitable for all projects and conventional building materials will need to be used.  In these cases, it is important to consider where else in the system sustainable practices can be employed.  Often times, rain gardens, detention and retention bays, and storage cisterns/rain barrels can be placed between impervious surfaces and municipal drainage.  In the case of rain gardens and rain barrels this can probably even be done at your home for little cost!

Kids Tool Box



Waterman's innovative WISE Project doesn't just demonstrate sustainable practices for homeowners and businesses, but aims to nearly eliminate runoff from our property.


Less runoff reduces stress on public ditches and drains, alleviates pollution in the Susquehanna, and helps prevent future flooding.

Wetland and forest plantings capture carbon and promote a more sustainable tomorrow.  Pumping less well water reduces energy usage.

Drastically improves infrastructure and operations at an organization who has faithfully served the public for more than 44 years!



This project is proudly supported by grants from:

The NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation

The Mildred Faulkner Truman Foundation

The Community Foundation for

South Central New York

BAE Electrical Systems

Weitsman Shredding

Taylor Garbage

This project is endorsed by:

The Broome-Tioga Stormwater Coalition

The Broome County Environmental Management Council

The Tioga County Legislature

The Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District

 Sierra Club

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County

Binghamton University

The Naturalists' Club of Broome County

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo

Assemblyman Christopher Friend

Senator Fred Akshar

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