EPA awards nearly US$1.5m grant for water infrastructure and green innovations

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EPA has awarded US$1,474,500 to the Kansas City, MO, Water Services Department to replace or relocate drinking water mains, sanitary sewers and stormwater sewers as part of the Beacon Hill Redevelopment Project, located west of Bruce R. Watkins Drive from 22nd Street to 27th Street in Kansas City, Mo. The project will include green stormwater infrastructure, such as an underground detention basin, bio-retention cells and rain gardens.

EPA Region 7 Administrator John Askew said, 'These green innovations will help to ensure our water resources and water infrastructure systems are clean, safe and sustainable for our families, children and grandchildren. Reusing water such as stormwater, whether through bio-retention cells or rain gardens, is an effective strategy.'

Bio-retention cells and rain gardens are small landscaped, graded areas that are constructed with a special soil mix that can absorb and filter runoff. Low maintenance, water-tolerant plants are often used in these rain gardens. These landscaping elements aid in reducing stormwater runoff, removing pollutants and replenishing the aquifer.

This grant complements EPA's broader sustainability initiative and will help to reduce stormwater before it reaches the city's stormwater system. The project will maximize stormwater infiltration, reduce pollutants from stormwater runoff, improve water quality, and promote plant diversity.

EPA oversees the protection of water quality and public health. The Agency is working with community leaders and the public to meet the growing needs and demands of our limited water resources. EPA remains committed to developing innovative and sustainable solutions for managing and financing infrastructure with public and private partners.

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