Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Low Impact, Green Solutions Fix Older City Water Infrastructures

22.11.2011
Like every older American city — and old cities across the globe — Philadelphia faces the daunting challenge of maintaining and upgrading its aging, and at times outdated, water and sewer infrastructure. While national and state funding sources continue to decline, cities must find innovative ways to comply with increasing regulatory requirements to improve performance and meet regulatory standards.

A new study by Jeffrey Featherstone, director of Temple’s Center for Sustainable Communities and a professor of Community and Regional Planning, examines how Philadelphia is tackling the problem head-on through the city’s “Green City Clean Waters Program (GCCW).”

“One of the major stormwater problems in many older American cities is combined sewer overflows (CSO) — sanitation sewers and storm sewers are connected. During high rainfall events, sewage may discharge into rivers and streams — it’s a problem happening in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and cities all over the world,” said Featherstone, who examined Philadelphia’s GCCW program as a case study for the implementation of proper green infrastructure. The study was conducted with the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds.

According to Featherstone, the Green City Clean Waters Program seeks to integrate water resources management “into the socioeconomic fabric of the city.”

“It is the centerpiece of a larger city effort to promote sustainability through improved stormwater management. Through a projected municipal investment of more than $2 billion and an innovative stormwater billing program, the GCCW expects to transform Philadelphia into a vibrant, green and sustainable city,” said Featherstone, who detailed the study of Philadelphia’s program as the only American presenter at a week-long conference hosted by the International Society of City and Regional Planners held in Wuhan, China in late October. “Instead of completely replacing the existing infrastructure with separate water and sewer systems of underground tunnels and storage tanks — which would be substantively cost prohibitive at about $17 billion — the city is embarking on a program that would solve 85 percent of the problem over a 25 to 30-year period by using low impact development (LID) and green infrastructure that would mediate the stormwater before it reaches the underground gray infrastructure.”

LID alternatives include greening methods such as green roofs, rain gardens, rain barrels, stormwater tree trenches and planters, permeable paving and concrete, and flow-through planters, systems that not only help control the flow of stormwater by returning the rainfall back to a normal hydrologic cycle but also help filter pollutants. A parcel-based billing system that emphasizes LID approaches over impervious surfaces would also assess fees on significant producers of runoff in relation to their contribution to stormwater runoff, encouraging landowners to implement sustainable stormwater management practices, said Featherstone.

The city isn’t just examining the potential economic benefits of the GCCW program but the social and environmental impacts as well — a “triple bottom line analysis,” he said.

“While there are numerous options for controlling CSO events and urban runoff, implementation of green or low impact development will provide benefits across the board — increased property values, reduced heat island effect, reduced airborne pollutants and CO2 emissions,” Featherstone said.

The green approach includes numerous additional positive outcomes, such as an anticipated 193 acres of wetlands created, a reduction in heat-related deaths by nearly 200, substantial electricity and natural gas savings due to the cooling effect of trees, a decrease of more than 1 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, and the creation of thousands of green collar jobs.

According to Featherstone, Philadelphia’s stormwater management approach could work “anywhere from Manilla to Johannesburg to Beijing, anywhere that the combined sewer overflow problem exists.”

“It just requires a city with the will to do it. The true bottom line is that a greener city is simply a much more attractive place to live,” he said. “It is becoming clearer every day the interconnectedness that exists between our cities and global ecosystems. It is important for all big cities to take responsibility for their damaged ecosystems.”

For more information about the Philadelphia Green City Clean Waters study, contact the Center for Sustainable Communities at 267-468-8311 or www.ambler.temple.edu/csc.

James Duffy | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.temple.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>