If it grows, it slows.

How nature-based solutions help keep streams healthy and give sewers a longer life

Fleet Avenue green infrastructure basin collects stormwater runoff, allowing it to filter naturally into the environment instead of contributing to the combined sewer system.

In this #BehindTheBill series, we take a closer look at the work made possible by your monthly or quarterly NEORSD bill.

Constructed sewers are a big part of our work but lesser known are the nature-based solutions like green infrastructure and stream restoration that help slow the flow of water in both the environment and the sewer system. That means healthier streams and more sustainable sewer investments.

Consider stream problems like flooding, erosion, debris blockages and water quality. Issues like these are often caused by the rush of flow from downpour hard-surface runoff and how streams have been channelized across the region over time. Not to mention that constructed “solutions” tend to contribute to debris issues over time because the isolated remedies rarely address the causes upstream.

Enter stream restoration.

Our team shares three examples of stream restoration projects help to slow the flow of water in the streams, reducing erosion and localized flooding, and protecting neighboring infrastructure.

Stream restoration and green infrastructure go hand in hand.

Green infrastructure can help manage stormwater runoff on the surface, and either prevent or slow the flow of water entering our combined sewer system. That means lower sewer volumes, fewer combined sewer overflows, and greater water quality improvements.

GI can vary in size and complexity, but where partners are willing and space can be optimized, the impacts can be huge as Anne, Thomas, and Lauren explain here.

Your sewer bill contributes to green infrastructure improvements while your regional stormwater management fees make work like stream restoration possible. That stormwater fee also funds community cost-share projects managed by cities across the region so projects that address local stormwater challenges can be implemented more quickly and effectively.

Missed our past #BehindTheBill features?

Official Medium channel of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland, OH