Green Infrastructure for Multiple Objectives
- Matthew Jones - Hazen and Sawyer
Green infrastructure offers a broad toolbox to address a range of stormwater management needs, including Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) management, TMDL requirements, CSO mitigation, and climate change concerns. This broad toolbox is particularly suited for stormwater retrofits, addressing a variety of site constraints at multiple scales, helping to address water quality goals for existing development while optimizing cost effectiveness and enhancing the quality of life in the community.
With an anticipated increase in the frequency of extreme storm events and impacts from sea level rise, resilience in stormwater controls will become increasingly important in protecting vital resources and managing long-term costs. Incorporation of natural design elements into stormwater control plays a critical role in mitigating flooding, controlling runoff, and removing harmful contaminants from stormwater with systems that can withstand and rebound from extreme storms and changing conditions.
Although some of the most aggressive green infrastructure initiatives have been focused on CSO mitigation, green infrastructure can be a valuable tool in MS4 areas, particularly those subject to TMDLs with requirements to address existing development. Not only can green infrastructure improve water quality through a variety of treatment mechanisms, but can provide substantial pollutant load reductions by infiltrating runoff and reducing the volume discharged to receiving waters.
Once the green infrastructure is implemented, it can then be monitored, yielding valuable information regarding potential CSO reductions and pollutant load reductions.
Whether the challenge is CSOs, MS4 requirements, TMDLs, or climate change impacts, a green infrastructure solution can also be customized to best meet the needs of the community. Permeable pavement, green/blue roofs, and bioretention are all available resources and can be used in numerous configurations and at varied scales, from individual sites to large watershed implementation efforts, providing flexibility in stormwater management.
For more information about these projects, please contact the author at email@example.com.
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Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.