San Francisco’s Green-Grey Infrastructure

Sourced from Medium

SFPUC’s Urban Water Assessment is part of the city’s Sewer System Improvement Program, the city’s 20-year program to plan, identify, and build investment priorities in the city’s sewer system. The Urban Watershed Assessment will shape the next generation of collection system projects (including the downspouts, streets, pipes, and green infrastructure elements that carry stormwater and sewage to the city’s treatment plants) by improving seismic reliability, managing stormwater, reducing odors, protecting water quality, and reducing flooding. Overall, addressing these challenges now is more cost-effective than deferring them to when the system fails and poses a critical threat to the city.

Integrating above and below ground solutions

Unlike traditional plans of the past, the Urban Water Assessment will integrate above- and below-ground solutions including permeable pavement and rain gardens as well as sewer pipes and pump stations, with the ultimate goal of ensuring green and grey strategies work together for future generations. The integrated green and grey strategies will provide the city with multiple benefits including helping protect the sewer system from earthquakes and sea level rise, attracting investment and jobs, as well as creating sustainable communities and beautiful neighborhoods.

San Francisco’s flagship green infrastructure projects

In total, SFPUC is constructing eight flagship green infrastructure projects, one in each of the city’s urban watersheds to test green technologies and evaluate their long-term effectiveness.

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