Environmental, Economic, and Social Benefits of Green Infrastructure –

Green infrastructure is a modern approach to sustainable stormwater management that combines natural processes with engineered systems to manage and treat rainfall at its source. It helps to reduce environmental and economic impacts and improve our quality of life.

Stormwater has traditionally been managed in the U.S. by gray infrastructure systems comprised of pipes, storm drains, tunnels, levees, swales, culverts, and retention ponds, just to name a few. But gray infrastructure has many drawbacks; by the time water has been carried to its ultimate destination – rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands, etc. – it has picked up various pollutants, heavy metals, trash, and bacteria that can contaminate our environment and drinking water supplies. To compound these problems, our existing gray infrastructure is aging and, in many cases, ill-equipped to handle increasing volumes of water where communities continue to grow.

Green infrastructure, as opposed to gray, incorporates manmade solutions that mimic the natural water cycle. Examples include rain gardens, permeable pavement, bio-swales, rain gardens, green roofs, bio-retention systems, and a variety of other techniques that naturally filter, store, or reuse stormwater and reduce its flow to waterways and sewer systems. Green infrastructure conserves and protects our water supply and has proven to be more cost-effective than traditional gray infrastructure systems.

Finelli Consulting Engineers is committed to helping build a sustainable environment and is expert in a wide range of stormwater management solutions and green infrastructure designs. Please contact us at (908) 835-9500 or visit us at www.finelliconsulting.com for more information.

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