Green Infrastructure Plan

2min1021Green infrastructure is a broad term for trees, gardens, and other technologies that are designed to help reduce runoff (stormwater) by absorbing rainwater.   Thanks to a grant from DCNR and with help from the community (you!), Capital Region Water will be developing a plan to use green infrastructure in Harrisburg. Green infrastructure can help reduce the impacts of runoff (stormwater) on the Harrisburg community, the Susquehanna River and Paxton Creek, and the underground infrastructure we operate.

Why do we need this?

1. Reducing pollution entering Paxton Creek and the Susquehanna River

Capital Region Water is currently updating its plan to reduce overflows from Harrisburg’s Combined Sewer System. Built over a century ago, combined sewer systems receive both rainwater and wastewater and are designed to overflow into receiving waters during large rainfall events instead of backing up into homes or businesses. These overflows can be harmful to both the public and aquatic life. CombineWasteWaterOverflow

2. Figuring out how green infrastructure works with the community

Green infrastructure can provide great social, economic, recreational, and environmental benefits if done right. This plan, which includes a Green Infrastructure Advisory Council that will be comprised of our customers and local community leaders, will help us determine if and where green infrastructure works for your neighborhood. Stay tuned if you’re interested in donating your time for this Advisory Council!1396068_10151928932580943_1946382767_n

Why green infrastructure?

1. It’s cheaper than traditional methods

Green infrastructure has proven to be an effective tool to reduce runoff and sewer overflows in cities across the country. Lancaster, another city with a combined sewer system, found that using green infrastructure was half the cost of traditional methods to meet the same water quality goals (Source).

2. The triple bottom line

 Green infrastructure not only helps us protect water quality, studies show that it also provides a host of other environmental, social, and economic benefits. Learn more here!

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What’s next?

It will take a few months to receive the grant funds and request bids for consultants to assist us with this project. Once started, this process will take about 18 months to complete and we’ll keep you posted along the way because we need your input! Stay tuned for more information on this website, Facebook, Twitter, and more.