Jun 12, 2018

Mt. Olivet Cemetery Manages Storm Water Runoff With Green Infrastructure

The green infrastructure additions are thanks to a new Washington, D.C., policy that exchanges storm water retention credits for green infrastructure projects

Washington, D.C., cemetery turns to green infrastructure for storm water runoff
Washington, D.C., cemetery turns to green infrastructure for storm water runoff solution

The Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Washington, D.C., has incorporated green infrastructure and removed 18,000 sq ft of impervious surfaces with the goal of reducing storm water runoff violations. The project was funded by storm water retention credits, a new Washington, D.C., Department of Energy and Environment system that generates capital for storm water retention projects.

If a property does not meet its new storm water retention volume requirements, developers can choose to make improvements or can purchase storm water retention credits from those who can make investments at other locations, Next City explains the exchange system. For Mt. Olivet Cemetery, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., was approached by The Nature Conservancy who proposed the project, as the cemetery was an ideal location near the Anacostia River.

Green infrastructure modifications include water-filtering bioretention cells, more pervious surfaces and even shrinking wide roads into one-lane roads to reduce the impervious area. The contractor, District Stormwater LLC, worked to improve the site’s storm water retention footprint while respecting the special needs of construction at a cemetery property. 

“[The new storm water credit market] is great because it provides an opportunity to bring in new sources of funding to do conservation projects and also shows that you can use private equity [to finance] conservation outcomes,” said Kahlil Kettering, the The Nature Conservancy urban conservation director. “It’s a new way to bring different partners to the table.” 

Washington, D.C., has been leading the nation in storm water management and green infrastructure, notably with the latest addition of their green infrastructure jobs program. If the storm water retention credit proves successful, it may have the potential to be implemented nationwide.