Leads in Green Infrastructure Projects
Aiming for high impact and high visibility, MSD partnered with the Cincinnati Zoo in an effort to remove the Zoo from the stormwater grid. The first project, located at the Zoo’s Main Entry, incorporates over 30,000 square feet of pervious pavers; a rainwater harvesting, storage, and irrigation reuse system; and bioinfiltration of collected runoff via the nearby elephant moat.
Note: The image below shows only a portion of the Cincinnati Zoo New Main Entry with MSD-Funded Storm Water Control. Click the image for a larger view of the entire drawing.
MSD is monitoring these features through a series of shallow wells and measuring flow volumes in the nearby combined sewer. MSD provided funding for installation of small-scale stormwater controls, including a rain garden, pervious concrete and a green roof in an educational Green Garden located behind the entry court. This project was completed in April 2009. Since then, over 1 million zoo visitors have walked over the pervious paving and enjoyed viewing lush vegetation kept healthy by the reuse of rainwater.
The second project, now under construction, is in the new African Savannah exhibit. MSD funding will be used to replace an asphalt parking lot with pervious surfaces, including grasses, with enhanced soils and porous concrete walkways. A new 55,000-gallon underground storage facility will re-distribute rainwater collected from nearby roofs and hard surfaces to an irrigation system, and replenish water in Swan Lake and the Zoo’s bear pools. We anticipate that these features will capture between 12 and 15 million gallons of stormwater runoff in a typical year.
MSD worked with the Zoo to help design, fund, manage, and construct this project. Focused on enabled implementation of projects such as this, opportunities for cost sharing and collaboration between MSD and key watershed stakeholders are a vital element to MSD’s approach to help reduce overall treatment costs and meet the demands of the Consent Decree. Through an internal grant program, MSD is able to offer funding to support these types of green infrastructure improvements. In return, MSD hopes to demonstrate savings in CSO control and treatment costs as green infrastructure is integrated into the traditional pipe catchment method.
Furthering our partner’s goals as well, the stormwater source control improvements at the Zoo has contributed to part of an ongoing, award-winning effort by the Cincinnati Zoo to establish itself as “the greenest zoo in America.” The Cincinnati Zoo will now serve as a nationwide educational resource to learn not only about elephants and giraffes, but also about the many benefits of source control.