Many cities throughout the US including Minneapolis, Kansas City and St. Louis are implementing their own clean solutions programs for water and sewer line upgrades, but how does that affect you?
To study this, we will use the city of Omaha, and their CSO! program. Omaha has had their program since 2009, and effects of this program, combined with responsible allocation of utilities, has had a great effect on the communities they are in.
The biggest improvement initially has been the quality of water. Currently the ecoli levels in the water have dropped by 27 percent*, and the number of times waste water flows into the Missouri River has been reduced as well. While these ecological factors are great, the most noticeable changes are the physical enhancements to the city. To replace these lines, streets and sidewalks are often torn up and replaced with modern features, including handicap accessible sidewalks.
Many Parks in the area receive makeovers, including Elmwood Park, located near the student housing for UNO and the apartment hub of the Aksarben area. A series of division pipes have been placed in their drainage areas, and planted with native grasses and wildflowers to prevent flooding and loss of soil. The attractive architectural structure creates a beautiful environment for the residents of the are to enjoy.
While these are benefits to the quality of life in the metro area, they do not come without costs. Each year the city increases the water and sewer costs for Omaha to meet the projects goals. This increase in energy costs makes utility allocation a natural fit for any multi-family living dwellings.
By making tenants responsible for the utilities, apartments are able to help conserve our natural resources, while saving the apartment complex hundreds of dollars PER apartment annually.
*All numbers provided, are from the Omaha CSO site. For more information regarding this program please visit http://www.omahacso.com/