The NYC Department of Environmental Protection recently announced plans to install green infrastructure in eastern Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn as a means to prevent stormwater from polluting Newtown Creek. The proposed green infrastructure would use natural systems such as soil and vegetation as an effective stormwater management solution that would protect water quality while also beautifying the neighborhood. According to DNAinfo, Bed-Stuy’s green upgrade will be funded by water and sewer bills.
On an average sunny day, city sewers handle over 1 billion gallons of water waste. Heavy rainstorms, however, can cause sewer overflows, a condition in which untreated sewage is discharged into the environment, contaminating nearby bodies of water, such as Newtown Creek.
Green infrastructure provides a relatively low-cost and sustainable way to prevent sewer overflow by intercepting, retaining, and filtering stormwater runoff before it reaches the sewer systems. Examples of green infrastructure include bioswales, long vegetative buffers that convey stormwater runoff, rain gardens and landscaped depressions that help capture and absorb runoff.
Though officials have yet to determine the exact locations they plan to green, little green dots have popped up throughout the neighborhood to mark potential spots. In the future, the DEP eventually hopes to make green infrastructure the norm and integrate these sustainable solutions into other sewer infrastructure projects throughout the city.
Images via NYC.gov