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Cincinnati’s green approach to sewer discharge expected to save $100 million

Environmentally strategy does have its limits, though.

July 24, 2018 |

Under orders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to largely eliminate the flow of sewage into rivers and streams, Cincinnati is moving forward with a plan using green solutions.

The city’s approach to controlling storm runoff will include a one-mile-long restored stream, water features, rain gardens, a recreation area, and a trail. Officials believe that results of the green approach will include revitalization of blighted areas, cleaner air, cooler temperatures, and less flooding.

The green alternative to a concrete tunnel to hold overflow for later treatment is projected to cost $100 million less to construct. Green solutions can help many communities reduce stormwater runoff, but cannot by themselves be the answer everywhere.

Pittsburgh, for example, with its numerous hills, has a much different topography than Cincinnati. Pittsburgh officials favor a combination of green and gray approaches to meet the requirements for reducing the outflow of sewage into the Ohio River.


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