40 percent of Jersey City is within a FEMA flood zone and 62 percent of the city is covered by impermeable surfaces such as buildings, concrete and asphalt, which block water from entering the ground. Jersey City’s sewer system is primarily combined, which means that water from storm drains in the streets joins with wastewater from buildings in the same sewer pipes. When these sewer pipes are filled beyond regular treatment capacity (such as during heavy rainstorms), the excess water, mixed with partially treated sewage, overflows through one of the 21 combined sewer outfalls into the Hudson River and the Hackensack River.

In an effort to reduce local flooding and limit pollution of of waterways, Jersey City made 2017 the ‘Year of Water’.

The ‘Year of Water’ was a year-long storm water management initiative that focused on:
1) education and awareness; 2) community action; and 3) building a sustainable foundation for storm water management projects.

Among those activities were:

  • Sustainability Hackathon
  • Imagine a Day Without Water
  • Green Infrastructure demonstration projects
  • Adopt a Catch Basin
  • City Hall Urban Water Sustainability Science Fair
  • Encouraging Citizen Forestry

Other initiatives related to the Year of Water effort include the creation of resiliency planning documents, the introduction of a revised tree ordinance and landscaping requirements, and the development of city-wide forestry standards.

Going forward, the Office of Sustainability and its partners will continue working to ensure that green infrastructure is included in future development and to ensure the City’s water infrastructure is prepared to meet residents’ needs for decades to come.


What is Green Infrastructure?

Find out what green infrastructure is and why is matters

Where Does Our Water Come From?

This handy infographic explains where JC's water comes from and where it goes

What is a Combined Sewer System?

Learn about JC's combined sewer system and what it means for you

Stormwater Brochure

This 2017: Year of Water brochure explains stormwater issues in Jersey City and offers tips on how residents can help.

Resilient Design Handbook

This handy guidebook explains flooding issues in JC and has recommendations for green infrastructure and resilient building design strategies you can apply to your home

Urban Environmental Green Infrastructure Plan

This 2017 plan outlines recommended green infrastructure methods for different areas of Jersey City, depending on topography, soils, and location.

T A K E     A C T I O N

Purchase a Rain Barrel

If you are a Jersey City resident, find out how to purchase, obtain, install, and maintain a rain barrel

Adopt a Catch Basin

Want to help keep flooding off your street? Adopt a catch basin to reduce flooding and keep the city clean