Members of Action United in Hazelwood have a few modest examples of how greening their neighborhood can also beautify it, add jobs and spare our water and sewer system all the rain run-off that carries with it pollutants (oil from our dripping cars, bacteria from the dog poop we smear on the sidewalk and other things that I know I don’t want in my drinking water).
I reported earlier this week on a rainy-day tour they took city Councilman Corey O’Connor on to try to influence his interest in helping with these relatively modest green infrastructure projects as step-by-step, affordable solutions to an otherwise wildly expensive one.
Then today I read about a massive, citywide response to a federally-mandated Clean Water Act compliance order... in Philadelphia.
Neal Peirce of the Washington Post Writer’s Group writes on citiwire.net about our crossstate big sister’s incredibly comprehensive plan to keep stormwater out of their water and sewer system.
Get this — Philly has an Office of Watersheds. If you're into this stuff, the Philly Water Department's web site is hot.
Neal’s article should be recommended reading for every municipal official everywhere, and your set of eyes on it wouldn’t hurt, either. Here it is in full.
And here’s a little chunk from the article — and keep in mind that Allegheny County is similarly under an order to comply with the Clean Water Act. Go to Alcosan’s web site to find out more about that.
“Federal Clean Water Act rules could have obligated Philadelphia to spend as much as $10 billion for a system of massive tanks and tunnels to hold overflows — the “big engineering” solution many cities are following. By contrast, the cost of Philadelphia’s new water-conserving, storm-mitigating green infrastructure may be as little as $2 billion.”