Green Infrastructure Design Challenge


In April 2013, DC Water launched the Green Infrastructure Challenge, engaging firms to design innovative green practices that absorb rain water. These practices, known as green infrastructure (GI), include installing green roofs (gardens on rooftops), bioretention (rain gardens), rain barrels, and permeable pavement, and using other natural means to capture and infiltrate rain water. Capturing the water before it can enter the combined sewer system will aid in alleviating combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the District. In March 2015, DC Water awarded contracts for final design to two selected firms: CH2M for the design of the Kansas Avenue Green Infrastructure Parks Project and Nitsch Engineering for the design of the Kennedy Street Green Infrastructure Streetscape Project. Concept plans were selected for final design award by a multi-agency evaluation panel for demonstrating innovative, cost effective, constructible, and replicable solutions to alleviating CSOs.


Kansas Avenue Green Infrastructure Parks Project

DC Water constructed two GI Parks at the triangle open space areas of Kansas Avenue NW and 2nd Street NW & Kansas Avenue NW and 3rd ST NW.  The GI constructed in these parks not only manages stormwater to reduce CSOs into the District's waterways, but creates more green space, beautifies the neighborhoood, and provides educational opportunities.  The two GI parks showcase a varitey of practices including bioretention (rain garden) areas, nature boulders for creative play, painted paths and stepping stones, pedestrian bridges, and new trees. 

Kennedy Street Green Infrastructure Streetscape Project

DC Water awarded over $2 million for construction of GI practices on the 100 block of Kennedy Street NW under the Kennedy Street Revitalization Project, a partnership between DC Water, the District of Columbia Mayor's Office and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). This project manages stormwater to reduce CSOs into the District's waterways, improve traffic and safety conditions and contribute to the revitalization of the historic Kennedy Street NW corridor from Georgia Avenue to North Capitol Street within the Ward 4 neighborhoods of Brightwood and South Manor Park. The GI practices constructed include bioretention (rain gardens), permeable parking lanes, permeable sidewalk pavers, landscape infiltration gaps, new street trees and stormwater related educational art.


To ensure continued performance of GI and the associated reduction of combined sewer overflows, the GI facilities must be maintained regularly.  DC Water is responsible for maintenance of GI facilities. If you notice trash or other issues in the facilities, please contact DC Water and note the Facility ID located on the sign.  Facility ID signs can be found at each GI facility that DC Water constructed in your neighborhood. For more information, see the GI Maintenance Factsheet in the Project Documents above.

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Click here to learn more about DC Water's green infrastructure projects.