Portland OR Resource for Stormwater Management | WorkingGreenPortland12/09/2009
GREEN FOCUS: Cool Things That Are Green
Many believe a better solution to solving stormwater issues in Portland at the end of the pipe is to use green technologies and solutions to reduce the amount of stormwater that can reach it. It’s more cost effective, and, as far as I'm concerned, if it’s coming out of our pockets anyway, it might as well go towards home improvement.
That’s why Dan Vizzini, a Project Manager for the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services is promoting WorkingGreenPortland.com.
WorkingGreenPortland.com is a, “site for property owners to learn about stormwater, city incentives, and connect with local businesses to help plan, design, build, maintain, and supply stormwater facilities” says Vizzini.
This easy to use and clean feeling website has 3 primary programs and incentives for stormwater management.
First is the Treebate. The more trees planted, the more rainfall is sucked up. The city of Portland will reimburse property owners half the cost of the purchase price of a tree, up to $40 for non-native and $50 for native trees. Their goal is to plant 30,000 trees in yards and 50,000 trees in streets by 2013 with the help of Friends of Trees.
Second is the Eco Roof grant program. Eco Roofs not only drinks rainwater, it provides insulation and it ads habitat for a variety of animals. This grant program is offered every 6 months for any residential, multifamily, or industrial property. The goal by 2013 is to cover 43 acres of roofs in Portland, which equates to several thousand eco roofs.
Third is the Clean River Rewards program. Stormwater ratepayers that join this program can save up to 33% on their stormwater bill by disconnecting downspouts from the sewer line. The City of Portland is approaching 40,000 repairs.
Are there any new programs in the works for the near future? There are some floating around.
50,000 residents have disconnected their downspouts. A portion of them couldn’t disconnect all their downspouts due to how the home sits on the property, the proximity to their neighbors, or their landscaping. Vizzini says that “A ‘disconnection plus’ program might be offered to re-hang downspouts, move gutters to redirect stormwater, or landscaping could be done to capture rain water.”
Also, Vizzini mentions that what they are finding is that, “a lot of people want to reuse and harvest rainwater”. He went on to say that; “capturing greywater from the sink and showers to be used for gardens and possibly toilets is becoming easier now because of new building codes.”
With WorkingGreenPortland.com at our fingertips, we’ll be able to stay informed and up-to-date on private investment stormwater management.
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By: Jonathan Davis, Founder and Editor
Eco roof photo link