7/22/2008

Facing a potential $10 billion price tag on a court-ordered upgrade to its sewer systems, western Pennsylvania is looking for innovative ways to handle water without building new pipes. In Pittsburgh, the neighborhood of East Liberty is exploring porous pavements and green roofs to divert rainwater before it enters the city's outmoded sewers. "With a permeable parking lot, we could save three-quarters of water running off," says Jim Pillsbury, a hydraulic engineer with the Westmoreland County Conservation District. "With a vegetated roof, we could save at least half."

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