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Effective Green & Gray Infrastructure

Most people are familiar with “gray” water infrastructure — the hard, concrete and metal pipes, holding tanks, pumps, water tunnels, and treatment plants. These systems play a key role in managing drinking water, wastewater and combined-sewer systems.

“Green” infrastructure is a newer approach to stormwater management that mimics nature by capturing stormwater so it can either be reused or seep into the ground where it falls, rather than flowing into underground sewer and storm pipes. Methods for stormwater capture include rain gardens, pervious pavement, planted swales, and storage containers such as cisterns and rain barrels. Green-infrastructure features can help reduce stress on water systems and can provide good local jobs, as well as making the communities where they’re installed healthier and more beautiful.

Both gray and green infrastructure are important components of water infrastructure systems statewide. Communities with combined sewer systems in particular will be evaluating gray- and green-infrastructure approaches to come up with the best combination that meets regulatory requirements cost-effectively and in a manner that provides tangible community benefits.



Green Infrastructure Toolkit from the Georgetown Climate Center

This toolkit from the Georgetown Climate Center can help local governments at different stages of their green infrastructure programs find the resources and examples that are most helpful to them.

Climate Change Adaptation in the Water Supply Sector

This white paper provides an overview of anticipated climate change implications for water supply, and provides a range of possible management responses including planning and physical mitigation projects. Authored by Jersey Water Works Steering Committee member Daniel J. Van Abs.

Turning Concept Into Reality: Green Infrastructure

The Green Infrastructure Support Tool (GIST) is a web-based mapping tool that provides wetland restoration site analysis. By combining environmental data with business initiatives it compares values and costs in order to determine the best restoration sites and options.

Philly Shares Design Secrets of Eco-Friendly Schoolyards

This article from Next City describes how the Philadelphia-based Community Design Collaborative and the Philadelphia Water Department are partnering to redesign city schoolyards into eco-friendly learning areas that also play an active role in the city’s stormwater management. The article provides a link to the design guide on greening schoolyards, and more information can be found on the Community Design Collaborative website.

Newark Greenstreets Initiative: Planning & Implementing Green Stormwater Infrastructure

As part of the Together North Jersey regional planning initiative, engineering firm CDM Smith worked with city staff in Newark to help them identify and deploy green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) on streets and city-owned land. This report summarizes research findings and includes best-practice guides and recommendations to support city staff in site identification, design, construction, implementation and maintenance of GSI projects. The City of Newark specifically requested technical help in the following areas, which are included in the report:

(1) Research and discovery in selecting several potential pilot locations for GSI interventions.

(2) Preparation of concept‐level designs, including  an analysis of the stormwater diversion potential and cost estimates of such interventions as well as recommendations for the process and contracting tools to be used in future projects.

(3) Analysis of the city’s existing green streets specifications.

(4) Preparation of a horticultural manual with species specifically chosen to do well in an urban GSI context.