Green infrastructure promotes the natural movement of water and complements Peoria's unique natural topography and soil composition. Ours could be the first city in the nation to employ an all-green solution to tackle combined sewer overflows (CSOs). Green works because it saves money, beautifies public spaces, decreases pollution and improves air quality.
Returning to Nature's Way
Instead of constructing expensive "gray" infrastructure - pipes, tanks or tunnels - we're pursuing green solutions that prevent stormwater from entering combined sewers in the first place.
The Cost of Green vs. Gray
Green infrastructure is less expensive - about 2/3 the cost of gray. Plus, by keeping more water out of the system, it lessens demand on drains and pipes. That helps extend the life of existing infrastructure, another cost-saver. Going green also lets us involve local businesses in projects. Constructing massive tunnels to manage CSOs, like Chicago's "Deep Tunnel," likely would involve out-of-state or foreign companies.
Peaceful Spaces, Complete Streets
Green infrastructure helps beautify our city and increase property values, especially in older areas. Studies link green spaces to better mental health, reduced stress and less crime. Introducing landscaping and green infrastructure into road design also provides a buffer between vehicles and bike/pedestrian traffic - making our streets safer and more accessible for all.
Does My Project Qualify?
Not all CSO-reduction projects are citywide efforts. You can make a difference on your own property with simple green solutions like planting a rain garden or installing permeable pavers. Doing so might also help you reduce your stormwater utility bill.