BREMERTON, Wash. - It may look like any other city street paving job, but the surface of Pacific Avenue in downtown Bremerton is full of holes.
It's a porous pavement, explains Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, as she pours water from a plastic jug onto the street.
The water quickly seeps into the pavement where it drains down through layers of rock and sand. Instead of flowing to the nearest storm drain and then directly into Puget Sound, this water goes through nature's very efficient and cheap purification system.
Other cities are experimenting with ways to capture and clean storm water runoff, but Bremerton is laying it on the line. City officials are writing and receiving grants to cover a host of storm water capturing systems and racing to get them done before new government standards require them.
David Dicks of The Puget Sound Partnership says Bremerton is ahead of the game and is giving the rest of the state a model on how to reduce storm water problems and take pressure off sewer and treatment facilities.