Making a New Year’s resolution or two might not be a bad idea for the managers of municipal systems, especially since we’ve all been stretching those diminishing budget dollars to—and beyond—the breaking point.
In this month’s issue, we take a look at some of the challenges facing solid waste and water management departments. Writer Sarah Wright found information that suggests that making a resolution to slow down and revisit repeat break situations with an eye to water hammer might reduce the time and money spent on those repeat breaks, allowing funds to be applied to another underfunded situation.
As sustainability and “green” solutions become obligatory, consider a New Year’s resolution to start researching construction methods for that new water treatment facility, police station remodel or streetscape project now. They’re certainly out there, and The Municipal can give you the names of companies with which you can start—as well as pass along some advice from cities that are incorporating them successfully.
Near Philadelphia, Pa., for example, the city of Manayuck is battling CSO problems with a comprehensive construction project that includes curved parking lots that will direct rain into a series of rain gardens, tree trenches and berms. The facility’s headhouse is being designed to be LEED eligible, with a sedum roof and other earth-friendly components. And Kansas City, Mo., has embarked on a green solutions program with a similarly broad view that includes a new CSO system. The city’s green solutions pilot program is designed to not only to reduce overflows and improve water quality, but also to encompass a broader movement of urban renewal. It should save the city $10 million as well.
Frugality and sustainability can go hand-in-hand. More and more these days, they have to.