I know stormwater is not the sexiest topic, unlike picking a park project or volunteer program. However stormwater does affect us all in a multitude of ways. Some residents more than others.
I do feel strongly that the stormwater issue should be a high priority along with a handful of others. In the coming years, this one issue will force us into a financial commitment bigger than we have ever addressed. Stormwater reconstruction is well over a billion dollar county-wide commitment.
Stormwater is something that we all deal with. Rain can flood our property or our roadways; stormwater can also expose our drinking water to a variety of elements. Our county is about to mount a large-scale infrastructure plan like no other, to address this issue that is primarily being addressed by the federal government.
Communities are facing a deadline of 18 months to have a plan and finances to execute the plan. What’s the plan? It’s still being processed but many ideas and issues have arisen during talks with local governments, environmental groups and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN). This is a challenge that each community in Allegheny County is faced with and if we cannot do this together we may fail at having an optimal solution that has long-term sustainability.
Like this topic and many others that have faced our community in recent years, we need to work with our neighboring communities to come up with a solution to the stormwater issue and definitely consider and implement green solutions.
Working together, having a regional plan, makes far more sense than going on our own and seeing if our single solution works, which was the initial plan for each community in the county. Having segregated plans for such a large project with each of our communities sharing roads, parks, and property seems short-sighted and I am glad to see many leaders in our region agree.
Green solutions may require a bigger financial commitment in the beginning but will be far more sustainable and less expensive in the end. The initial project was going to be implemented with “gray” infrastructure and now there is an outcry to consider green initiatives and planning to make the project more sustainable and viable for our county.
However, the regional planning will only do so much. Philadelphia Water Blue, a video available on my website, www.kellyfraasch.com, will show some genuine grassroots education to residents about their ability to make an impact on the stormwater in their neighborhoods.
Philadelphia, along with other highly dense populations mentioned in the video, have taken the lead in addressing water runoff and stormwater. I hope that Allegheny County with Mt. Lebanon’s leadership can also become involved in similar grassroots work to better the future of our community.
Being a built-out community, my hope is with more education and effort on everyone’s behalf we could make a sizable impact on the water we see in the municipality.
Please view the video on my blog and find out how you can help yourself and your neighbors in decreasing the amount of water runoff that accumulates in our area while Mt. Lebanon and many other communities attend to large-scale planning on stormwater.
Together, we can make a difference for our neighbors and visitors who come into Mt. Lebanon.