In the United States, municipalities are at a turning point. Their wastewater and stormwater infrastructure is aging — and often unable to keep up with the demands placed on it by growing populations and changing environmental regulations.
Additionally, regulatory action such as the Environmental Protection Agency's Combined Sewer Overflow Policy present a particular challenge in helping cities extend the longevity of these systems while complying with the Clean Water Act. But it can be done with innovation, creativity and forward thinking. Cities like Kansas City, Mo., are building sustainable, adaptable green infrastructure into their systems, while improving the effectiveness of their stormwater systems in handling high volumes of rain.
These elements — bioswales, rain gardens and more — have the added effect of revitalizing neighborhoods. Read more about them in our cover story. Pilot programs are proving their effectiveness and their cost benefits. Burns & McDonnell is helping lead the effort to identify appropriate solutions and financial plans to move them forward into the next century.
— Ron Coker