Meeting the Green Infrastructure Challenge in Washington, DC



Green Solutions for Rainwater Management

When it became necessary for Washington, DC to improve its water and sewage systems, the capitol of the United States opted for a focus on traditional “gray” options. Tunnels and pipes were the main solution for Washington’s sewage and stormwater problems.

But George Hawkins, General Manager of DC Water managed to convince the district to “go green.” By incorporating green infrastructure options with their stormwater management plans, Washington DC has become a model of sustainable infrastructure. They’re saving money and resources, while fulfilling the EPA consent decree, reports George Hawkins.


Green Infrastructure Challenge

DC Water is challenging firms to design innovative green practices to absorb rainwater before it can enter the combined sewer system. These practices, known as Green Infrastructure, include installing green roofs (gardens on rooftops), rain gardens, rain barrels, and pervious pavements, removing impervious surfaces, and using other natural means to capture and infiltrate rain water.

DC Water will award more than $1 US million for design and construction of Green Infrastructure projects in the Potomac and Rock Creek drainage areas in the District of Columbia. The Green Infrastructure Challenge invites proposals of projects that absorb rain water on public, private, government and institutional properties before it reaches the storm and sewer systems. Prize money will be awarded to winning designs in each category for the design and construction phases.


To Learn More:

To download a copy of the Briefing Document published by DC Water, click on Green Infrastructure Challenge.

To read an article posted on the Rainwater Management community-of-interest in April 201, click on United States EPA Proposes “Next Generation” of Rainwater/Stormwater Controls in Clean Water Permit for Washington, DC.

Patrick condon (120p)Also, click on British Columbia Moves Beyond 90% Rainfall Capture Target Proposed by United States EPA. “I have to think that the 90 percent number was influenced by our work in British Columbia over the years,” observes Patrick Condon of the University of British Columbia. Going back to the late 1990s, one of his best-known sound-bites has been “capture the first inch of rainfall”.