Etna celebrates Green Infrastructure for Stormwater
By Diana Nelson Jones / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The elegant grate with a pattern of fern leaves undulates from one circular tree grate to the next all the way down the block between Bridge and Freeport streets. Most of the 12 buildings along that block agreed to have their downspouts removed so the rainwater from their roofs is now routed under the grates to be filtered into the ground.
Etna Mayor Tom Rengers noted that the street is much prettier now, but added, “The real beauty of this is underground.”
He was referring to a system of pipes and holding tanks beneath the street that catch the storm water and then slowly release it into the ground.
The Environmental Protection Agency funded the first phase with a $415,000 grant. The next phase will repeat the grate for another block on Butler. The plan is being reviewed now, with construction funding pending, said Doug Goodlander, a program chief for the state Department of Environmental Resources.
Etna officials identified 25 sites where green infrastructure could have the highest impact and calculated that for a one-time cost of $6.1 million, the systems would divert 16.1 million gallons each year.