Storm Catcher Solutions: Using Integrated Planning with Sustainable Technologies to Address Longterm Sewer Overflow Long-Term Containment and Urban Blight

Student: Jonathan Schommer, 2014-2015

Sponsor: Gary Gilot, South Bend, IN

From Chicago to Kansas City to South Bend, many Midwestern communities are experiencing economic and infrastructural hardships as the result of two major issues: CSO Long Term Containment and Housing Blight. There is a pressing need to find ways to address these issues both to revitalize the community as well as reduce costs for its citizens. Many different technologies to address these issues already exist in the form of rain gardens, rain barrels, urban forests, net zero housing runoff design, and sustainable urban planning under Envision sustainability guidelines. To propose an answer to this problem, my thesis project will combine these sustainable water retention technologies to redirect rain flows turning what was once viewed as a waste into an environmental resource. The plan will be validated and adjusted using computer modeling with sound economic modeling that addresses local unemployment. What is created will be an alternative to the current CSO plan that is more cost-effective, community involved, environmentally conscious, and scalable for other communities facing the same issues.