Report highlighting the operations and maintenance practices of 22 green infrastructure projects.
(2013) Published by the US EPA. The report examines the operations and maintenance practices of 22 green infrastructure projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Clean Water State Revolving Fund and highlights both the opportunities and challenges associated with green infrastructure O&M.
In many of the green infrastructure O&M studies that have been conducted to date, estimates of O&M costs are not based on actual costs, but on engineering estimates. As green infrastructure projects continue to be implemented by an increasing number of communities, more data on performance, installation costs, and maintenance costs will become available to better quantify the costs and benefits of these types of projects.
Failure to properly maintain green infrastructure can lead to excessive sedimentation, clogged inlets and outlets, loss of vegetative plantings, soil compaction, and failure to properly infiltrate stormwater. This can lead to additional overflows and have a harmful effect on water quality, thus negating the original intent of the project. Because projects such as rain gardens, pervious pavements, and green roofs constitute a relatively new approach to stormwater management, in many cases communities have had to advocate for these types of projects with stakeholders and rate payers in order to garner support for them. Projects in disrepair can erode confidence in the viability of green infrastructure. The proper design, construction, and maintenance of green infrastructure projects, as well as targeted public education and outreach, can effectively mitigate these issues.