Dec. 3: Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The next presentation of the Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN) Green Infrastructure, Climate, and Cities Seminar Series will be held on Wednesday, December 3rd at 4pm at Drexel University. A webinar option will also be provided.

Space is limited, so please RSVP for both in-person and webinar attendance at http://www.ccrun.org/seminars

Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Nexus Between Sustainability & Public Health?

Dr. Charles N. Haas, Drexel University

Historically, the development of cities was facilitated by draining stormwater into sewers and conveyance to receiving waterbodies. It has now been recognized that such “gray” infrastructure solutions result in an alteration of natural hydrology (which would have greater infiltration) and can produce adverse physical, chemical and biological effects in receiving waters. More recently, classes of “sustainable” or “green” stormwater infrastructure have been developed with the key design aim of managing stormwater flow by trying to achieve greater similarity to natural (pre-development) hydrology. These systems include: green roofs; vegetated swales; porous pavement or parking; tree pits; and roof captured rainwater beneficially used (gardens, toilets, etc.)

Green infrastructure systems by their nature result in greater contact between people and managed stormwater than gray infrastructure systems (except in the receiving water itself). Hence if there are contaminants in the stormwater that have the potential to pose a human health risk, gray infrastructure systems may result in such excess risks. In this presentation, the evidence for contamination (chemical and microbial) of such flows will be presented. The particular potential for certain pathogenic microorganisms to survive and multiply will be discussed, and research needs to characterize the public health consequences and potential mitigations will be presented.


Speaker Bio

Charles N. Haas is the L.D. Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering and head of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University. He also has courtesy appointments in the Department of Emergency Medicine of the Drexel University College of Medicine and in the School of Public Health. For over 35 years, Professor Haas has specialized in the assessment of risk from and control of human exposure to pathogenic microorganisms, and in particular the treatment of water and wastewater to minimize microbial risk to human health. He received his BS (Biology) and MS (Environmental Engineering) from the Illinois Institute of Technology and his PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.




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