Green infrastructure (or practices) manages and treats stormwater on-site. It utilizes natural or engineered systems—which mimic natural processes—allowing rainwater to soak into the soil before reaching drainage or combined sewer systems. Green installations naturally filter pollutants, providing additional waterway protection.
MSD’s Green Infrastructure Program locates, builds or incentivizes opportunities for green installations, furnishing stream protection at lesser costs than conventional gray infrastructure like storage tanks, large pipes and treatment facilities. By strategically implementing green infrastructure, MSD increases rainwater absorption into the soil and reduces the amount of rainwater entering combined sewers, thus decreasing treatment facility stress and sewer overflows. These cost-effective solutions save MSD ratepayers money and improve local waterway quality.
Green infrastructure solutions include vegetated roofs; rain gardens and barrels; green roads and alleys; pervious pavement sidewalks and parking; and bio-retention basins. MSD offers partnership incentives for qualified green infrastructure projects, and Downspout Disconnection and Urban Reforestation programs.