Our Stormwater Management Guidebook informs readers of how to manage stormwater with green infrastructure. Green infrastructure involves the use of soil, vegetation, and cisterns to capture stormwater, instead of the traditional reliance on pipes and other concrete conveyances. The guidebook is specific to Illinois, and explains what green infrastructure is, how it can be used to meet permitting requirements, and where green infrastructure projects can be found across the state.

Prairie Rivers Network and the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club present their Practicing Antidegradation in Illinois Guidebook, a practical guide to implementing antidegradation at sewage treatment plants. Antidegradation is a law designed to limit the amount of new pollution released into our waterways. The guidebook presents a brief overview of the law and then describes various methods for controlling pollution.

Antidegradation Alternatives for Municipal Sewage Treatment is a technical report that compiles operational, cost, design, and performance data for various sewage treatment technologies including both conventional and state-of-the-art methods. The report was designed to assist advocates in determining the pollutant reduction capabilities of the various treatment methods and the economic feasibility of implementing these methods.

A Citizen’s Guide to Illinois’ Agricultural Drainage Practices and Law” for individuals who want to learn more about the practices, policies, and law regarding agricultural drainage in Illinois and who want to ensure that providing adequate drainage is not done at the expense of clean water and healthy river habitat.

Rain Garden Brochure Rain gardens provide environmental benefits by improving water quality and promoting water conservation. A rain garden is a shallow, vegetated landscaping feature that captures excess rainwater and puts it to work. As the rain garden bed is slightly below the level of the yard, the garden acts as a shallow dish that holds the water for a short time so that it can instead soak into the garden soil. Well-designed rain gardens absorb 30% more water than turf lawns and will drain completely within a few days after an average storm.

Big price little benefit report cover
Prairie Rivers Network and our partners in the Nicollet Island Coalition released the Big Price – Little Benefit  report condemning proposed expansion of 7 of the 29 locks that aid navigation along the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers got Congressional authorization in 2007 to double the size of the locks, at a potential cost to taxpayers of $2.2 billion. Our report shows that the modest benefits the project aims to achieve can be achieved much more cheaply through other means. View our press release here.

The Permitting an End to Pollution handbook, produced by Prairie Rivers Network, River Network, and Clean Water Network, offers much more detail on effective participation in the water pollution control permit (NPDES) program. NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits are required of almost anyone who would like to dump pollution into any water in the country. There are likely several such “dischargers” in your watershed, who must get an NPDES permit and must renew that permit at least every five years.

Download the full text here, or select chapters below:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2 Part 1, Chapter 2 Part 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Costs for Analytical Procedures

toolkitDownload our Toolkit for Watershed Groups to help run/organize your local river group. There are many reasons to organize or get involved in a river group. Some citizens organize to protect their stream from an imminent threat-a dam, dredging, or clear-cutting of trees along its corridor. Others organize because they perceive a future threat to their stream or the creatures that depend on it. Many get involved just because they want to contribute to their community and to the quality of life of future generations.