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Columbus Water Management Plan Gains EPA Approval

Walker Evans Walker Evans Columbus Water Management Plan Gains EPA ApprovalRendering via Blueprint Columbus.
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One of the bigger projects to emerge from 2014’s State of the City Address was the Blueprint Columbus plan — a city-wide stormwater and wastewater management program that would overhaul outdated infrastructure. The project’s aim is to reduce sewer overflow issues through modern environmental compliances and innovative green technologies.

Today, the City of Columbus announced that the plan has been officially approved by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

“Blueprint Columbus is a huge step forward not only for our city, but for other communities that are working to meet consent order requirements in reducing overflows,” said Mayor Michael Coleman. “This plan is truly cutting edge and will serve as an example as to how green infrastructure and other innovative ideas can work with traditional technologies to create more beneficial solutions.”

The program will address new water systems in four main ways: lining residential sewer laterals, a voluntary sump pump program, redirecting roof water runoff away from foundation drains, and installing green infrastructure to treat runoff before it enters storm sewers. More information on how those systems work can be found in the following video:

Blueprint Columbus replaces the city’s older Wet Weather Management Plan, created in 2005. The new plan is expected to cost less, see a quicker implementation, provide better water quality and create new neighborhood amenities like rain gardens and pocket parks.

“I commend the city of Columbus not only for its forward thinking in creating a plan that includes green infrastructure and innovative ideas, but also for including a fallback plan that demonstrates the city’s commitment to complying with our legal agreements to reduce sewer overflows,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler. “The ideas in Blueprint Columbus can serve as a model for other communities dealing with sewer overflows.”

The Blueprint Columbus plan is expected to be implemented in phases over the next 20 years.

For more information, visit http://www.columbus.gov/blueprint/.

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