As glaciers melted 14,000 years ago, the Wabash River's rich history was just beginning. The melting waters carved the 475-mile path of the river from eastern Ohio to the Indiana/Illinois border, and the Wabash's white limestone bottom became its namesake. French explorers named the river "Ouabache," or Wabash, after the Miami Indian word meaning "it shines white."
Traders made their livelihood along the Wabash, and from the mid-1600s to the 1800s, settlers discovered the river's value as a source of transportation for trading, irrigation and industry.
Today, more than 200 years later, the City of Lafayette recognizes that development still depends on the Wabash River, and the city is committed improving its water quality. To accomplish this, the city has implemented the following wet weather programs.
Stormwater Capital Program In 2010, Lafayette began implementing a stormwater capital program, to address stormwater quality regulations in the city's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permit and to expand and improve upon existing stormwater infrastructure. The stormwater program will benefit the public in the following ways:
Improve the quality of stormwater entering local rivers and streams
Reduce flooding and drainage problems in the community
Reduce basement backups during and after wet weather
Rehabilitate existing infrastructure, which is crumbling and in need of repair
Meet state and federal regulations
Water Pollution Control The City of Lafayette developed a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Long-Term Control Plan to reduce raw sewage overflows and improve the water quality of the Wabash River and other local streams. The $179-million, 20-year plan, which is mandated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will benefit Lafayette residents and businesses in the following ways:
Reduce raw sewage overflows into the Wabash River and local streams
Improve the health of streams for humans, fish and wildlife
Minimize the smells and sites of pollution found in overflowing sewers
Minimize the impacts of the plan on neighborhoods by locating overflow storage facilities underground