Onondaga County Save the Rain
Having come under a 1998 Federal Court Amended Consent Judgment (ACJ), Onondaga County was required to reduce and/or eliminate combined sewer overflow (CSO) into area lakes and streams. The County first used gray infrastructure to manage CSO’s, but by 2008, County officials recognized the need for alternative green interventions to minimize the cost of CSO reduction and provide additional benefits. They hired CH2MHill to develop a green infrastructure program. In 2010 CH2MHill partnered with Viridian Landscape Studio due to previous, positive working relationships, their familiarity with green infrastructure work and dedication to managing rain water at its source rather than in end of pipe solutions. Save the Rain’s goal is to divert 250 million gallons of rainwater from the combined sewer system by 2018. CH2MHill and Viridian are making that goal a reality through the development of design, construction and maintenance plans for a myriad projects including: rain gardens, bioswales, wetland and meadow restorations, green roofs, street tree plantings and re-vegetation efforts. These projects not only ‘Save the Rain,’ but make beautiful places for people and animals alike.