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MSD continues funding for 2016-2017 rainscaping grants

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) today announced the opening of the 2016-2017 Rainscaping Small Grants: a program offering up to $3,000 per grant to private landowners to install rainscaping solutions on their property. MSD Project Clear’s Rainscaping Small Grants program encourages the public to use simple techniques on their properties to reduce the impact of stormwater on our sewer system. Funds are available to private residences, community organizations, schools, churches, etc. located in the program area (below). “Rainscaping grant programs are a key component of MSD Project Clear because these kinds of partnerships allow us to create greater community and sewer system benefits than MSD would be able to accomplish alone,” said Brian Hoelscher, executive director of MSD.

The 2016-2017 Rainscaping Small Grant program applications will be accepted May 16 through August 12, 2016. Applications for the Small Grants must be within the program area, the green area pictured in the map below.

Click the image for a high resolution version.

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All applicants must attend one of four MSD Project Clear Workshops held in late June and July 2016. A larger map of the program area, Small Grants Workshop dates, and the application can be found at: www.projectclearstl.org/rainscaping. Find out if your property is in the area for the grant program, or visit www.projectclearstl.org/rainscaping.

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This program is part of MSD Project Clear’s $100 million investment in rainscaping projects. Rainscaping grant programs are designed to fund solutions that retain and slow the movement of stormwater to keep it from overburdening the sewer system. MSD will continue to partner with the Missouri Botanical Garden to assist landowners with their projects from the application and design process through completion of the project. MSD Project Clear completed 59 Small Grants projects in 2014 and 2015 with up to $3,000 available per grant to landowners in the program area.

What is rainscaping?

Used effectively, rainscaping can reclaim stormwater naturally, reduce sewer overflows, and minimize basement backups. The purpose of the MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Small Grants Program is to reduce the volume of stormwater in our combined sewer system by installing landscaping that helps capture rain where it falls, allowing water to run off-site. Rainscaping can also be employed to solve a drainage problem, increase aesthetic appeal, improve property values, and attract birds and butterflies, in addition to other benefits.

Rainscaping practices can include features such as rain gardens, bioretention cells, pervious pavement, green roofs, etc. to slow down and soak up the rainwater before it gets to the sewer. MSD Project Clear has designed and built a number of pilot projects predominately in MSD’s Bissell Watershed focus area to analyze which features work best in specific geographic areas.

About MSD Project Clear

MSD Project Clear is the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s initiative to improve water quality and alleviate many wastewater concerns in the St. Louis region. MSD Project Clear will invest billions of dollars over a generation in planning, designing, and building community rainscaping and system improvements, along with an ambitious program of maintenance and repair and the disconnection of some residential downspouts in parts of St. Louis County’s separate sewer area from the wastewater sewer line. This work is part of an agreement between MSD, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

The St. Louis region’s success with MSD Project Clear will only be possible through strong partnerships and clear communications with the public.

To learn more about the MSD agreement with EPA, please visit www.stlmsd.com/our-organization/organization-overview/consent-decree. For more information on MSD Project Clear, visit ProjectClearSTL.org or follow us on Twitter @ProjectClearSTL or Facebook at Project Clear STL.

About the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD)

Created in 1954, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) works every day to protect the public’s health and the natural environment through effective wastewater and stormwater management strategies.

MSD is responsible for the public sewer system that homes and businesses connect to through lateral lines. Through a labyrinth of connected sewers, wastewater is transported to one of seven sewer treatment plants – nearly 7,000 miles of sewers in all. That is like going from St. Louis to New York City and back three times! Individual property owners are responsible for another important part of the system, the sewer lateral that connects a home’s plumbing to the public sewer in the street.

Media Contact:
Lance LeComb
Manager of Public Information & Spokesperson
Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD)
Phone: 314-768-6237
Main: 314-768-6200
Fax: 314-768-2753
llecomb@stlmsd.com

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