Jordan: Small in size, but ambitious

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019

Road closed signs blocking a road, with water almost entirely covering the background.Located in Scott County, Jordan is a 3.3-square-mile rural center community of 6,200 with a good understanding of Mother Nature’s reign. With much of the city located in a floodplain, it is vulnerable to flooding. Like in 2014, when the city experienced record levels of rainfall. Twelve inches of rain fell over two days, causing a landslide and other damage.

Land use ordinances work to restrict development in areas where steep slopes provide protection from floodwater, for example, and where wetlands protect water quality.

Initiatives toward sustainability and resilience

The City has an alternative energy systems ordinance that guides the use of solar energy, wind energy, and pump systems that transfer heat to and from the ground.

In addition, city code requires preservation of green space in every area of the city to reap the benefits that vegetation provides. A Tree and Woodland Preservation Plan is required in conjunction with new housing construction when significant trees are located on-site.

And, all residents and businesses must incorporate permeable landscaping. For example, 60% of any residential property must be pervious; in commercial areas, planted parking islands are required in parking lots with more than 20 stalls.

Making progress

The City is committed to advancing and recognized for implementing sustainability best practices, while also saving money. Examples include:

  • Executing a 25-year community solar garden subscription that will offset 120% of the City’s electricity use, saving approximately $2.7million over the life of the contract.

  • Earning designation as a Bronze SolSmart community for commitment to solar solutions.

  • Improving its pre-wet system for salting roads in the winter, cutting salt use in half and lending better results. In 2017, Jordan Public Works reduced about 120 tons of its roadway salt use through a combination of salt-brine sprayers and changing driving practices, saving the city thousands of dollars.

  • Investing in a dewatering bag, simplifying Jordan’s local wastewater treatment process by filtering sediment. Dewatering reduces the volume of sludge and, therefore, the number of truckload trips needed to haul solid waste, saving $10,000 in 2016.

  • Offering city-wide organic collection. Jordan is one of only a few cities in the state that offer food and yard waste collection to all residents. Residents are provided background on how to manage organics, yard waste, solid waste, and recycling. In addition, annual fall leaf and winter tree collection are provided to all residents for free, helping to keep excess organic matter out of surface waters. In addition to its other benefits, the change is expected to save a considerable amount of money.

Posted In: Communities