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Sewer District Grants Send Green Infrastructure Dollars to Cleveland Neighborhoods

Aug 23, 2022

Reducing stormwater runoff

Green roofs are just one facet of environmental infrastructure NEORSD is spreading throughout its combined-sewer service region. Bioretention areas, permeable pavement, and rainwater harvesting are also aimed at transforming the face of Cleveland’s neighborhoods one grant at a time.

These projects reduce the potential for flooding and eroded stream banks that can happen when sewers are overwhelmed during heavy storms. Stormwater-related impacts of pollution and waterborne illness can also be alleviated when water management features are reintroduced into the region’s built environments.

“We’re trying to mimic the natural processes lost because of urbanization,” said Christopher Hartman, a stormwater technical specialist with NEORSD. “It’s about recreating those processes that filter and source stormwater.”

Grants are available in cities with combined sewers, a system that carries both storm and sanitary sewage through the same pipe. During heavy storms, the volume of wastewater can exceed system capacity, leading to discharge into nearby streams and rivers. Cities in NEORSD’s service area with combined sewers include parts of Cleveland, Lakewood, Brooklyn, Newburgh Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, Garfield Heights, Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, and East Cleveland, and all of Linndale.

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