Field Guide to CSO+: A Strategy for Aligning Priorities and Tactics for Unlocking Resources

The Field Guide to CSO+ is designed to inform communities who need to integrate solutions for combined sewer overflows (CSOs); specifically, is meant to help city/utility officials work with elected officials to address CSO mitigation. The guide is focused on how to pursue a project that addresses CSOs while simultaneously attending to other top city priorities, such as public housing or health, all with the goal of “creating win-wins and opening up nontraditional funding/financing options.”

The report is categorized by sectors in which CSOs could be addressed or solutions implemented in tandem for: Public Housing, Economic Re-Development, Energy Efficiency, Schools, Broadband and Internet Access, Watershed Protection, Parking, Streets, Public Health, and Coastal Protection.

The guide points out that many communities struggle with CSOs within the places where frontline communities live, such as public housing developments. It suggests that green infrastructure that is properly maintained can provide both important amenities and address CSOs. Decisionmakers are encouraged to work with residents to determine what amenities are most desirable, and to partner with a trusted local NGO to build community trust and awareness. The guide points to the Bronx River Houses in New York City and the Mariposa-Lincoln Park development in Denver, CO as inspiration.


City “champions” play an essential role in advocating for projects such as CSO progress, and the paper includes recommendations on who might be a successful champion for each CSO project. The guide also advocates for both “green” and “grey” approaches to mitigating CSOs, arguing that the best approach in many cases with be a combination of both methods. 


Publication Date: 2017

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