March 2015, Vol. 70, No. 3


Columbus Solves SSO Problem, Creates Local Jobs

As reported by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the city of Columbus, OH, is taking a new approach in solving the problem of sanitary sewer overflows, by spending its capital dollars above ground, transforming neighborhoods and creating permanent jobs.

Rather than build little-used tunnels, the city decided to pursue a community-based integrated plan called Blueprint Columbus. This program is unique in its focus on private, residential inflow and infiltration (I/I) removal. The four-pillar plan utilizes green infrastructure, lateral lining, roof water redirection and sump pumps to eliminate I/I. The city is now updating its consent decree and will resubmit it in September 2015 as an integrated plan.

With its emphasis on smaller, neighborhood-level projects, the project has created new workforce development opportunities. Working with established nonprofits and a local community college, the city of Columbus will provide training for green infrastructure installation and maintenance to local small businesses and disadvantaged residents. The city estimates that over 30 years, Blueprint Columbus will boost the local economy by $3.3 billion in regional output, $900 million in earnings, and 700 additional jobs, three times the amount anticipated under the gray-only scenario.

The training program will kick off in March, and there will be two sets of graduates this year, in the spring and fall. Blueprint projects slated to start construction this year and active projects already in the works are opportunities to bring newly trained graduates into the sector.

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}