New online database tool will help combat sewage and storm water overflows
3 Rivers Wet Weather (3RWW) announced a new online tool that will help municipalities tackle a very old problem—sewage and storm water overflows. With a $250,000 Colcom Foundation Grant, 3RWW, a Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization committed to improving the region’s water quality, is launching a Green Infrastructure Database project that will allow planners and engineers to define priority locations in their municipalities where green infrastructure has the highest potential to reduce combined sewer overflows in the ALCOSAN system.
The database also will locate all known existing green infrastructure in the Pittsburgh region, including green roofs, rain gardens, permeable pavement and bio-filtration systems, and feature a web-based tool for property owners that will provide site-specific options for the installation of green infrastructure with a cost/benefit analysis and a list of vendors.
3RWW has hired engineering firm Tetra Tech and Landbase Systems, a spatial database company, to assist in developing this sophisticated, yet easy-to-use web-based tool that will have applications for myriad audiences, including commercial developers, municipal representatives, homeowners and regulatory agencies to document the use and value of green infrastructure. Tetra Tech brings local experience and understanding and provides national perspective to the project, including the development of low-impact development design manuals for several large urban areas and the development of the System for Urban Stormwater Treatment and Analysis Integration (SUSTAIN), a tool it developed under contract with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency for evaluating, selecting and placing green infrastructure practices. Tetra Tech’s team also includes the Pittsburgh-based WBE engineering firm Collective Efforts LLC.
Landbase Systems brings extensive experience in the development of detailed, high-level spatial data for the Pittsburgh region. It will provide spatial database design, processing, map interaction and spatial data reporting for the green infrastructure tools in this project.
The first version of the Green Infrastructure Database, which will be accessible through 3RWW’s website, www.3riverswetweather.org  will be completed by March 2012.