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A Triple Bottom Line Assessment of Traditional and Green Infrastructure Options for Controlling CSO Events in Philadelphia’s Watersheds

Philadelphia Water Department (PWD)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is currently evaluating the implementation of
various combined sewer overflow (CSO) control alternatives. This includes traditional
engineering approaches that rely on physical infrastructure (e.g., building large diameter
tunnels), as well as more “natural” approaches that rely on “green infrastructure” techniques
(e.g., vegetated bioswales, permeable pavement).This report provides a Triple Bottom Lineoriented
benefit-cost assessment of the CSO control alternatives under consideration by PWD.
The focus is on the benefits and external costs of the alternatives. The key finding of this report
is that the green infrastructure approaches generate a broader and more valuable array of
environmental, public health, and social benefits than do traditional CSO control strategies.
Benefits of green infrastructure evaluated and monetized include: Improved recreation
opportunities, increased property values, reduced heat-stress related fatalities, improved air and
water quality, green jobs, reduced energy use, and reduced disruption due to construction and
maintenance activities.


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Posted: May 20th, 2011 | Filed under: >1M, Sanitary Sewer, Stormwater, Waste Water Treatment, Water Treatment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »