Think back to the last time you were on a public trail: what did you see along the path? Apart from trees and the occasional informational sign, you might have noticed water pipes, manmade channels, or sewer covers nearby. Do planned greenways, or public trails, just happen to intersect these service lines? My own casual observation walking along greenways in Chapel Hill, NC led me to think more about why they might be located along utility service lines and the possible implications for city planning. As it turns out, locating trails near existing or planned service lines can be advantageous for municipalities, and is consistent with city planning goals.
by Caitlin Seyfried, Trey Talley, Evan Kirk, and Noel Myers
One hot summer morning, a crew of staff members from the Environmental Finance Center set out on a field trip. We hopped in a School of Government van and eagerly started discussing our destination. As environmentally- and financially-minded individuals, we are interested in water and wastewater services, so it comes as no surprise that we were excited to be visiting a wastewater treatment plant.
However, our destination was not—by any means—a traditional treatment plant. Instead, we went to visit a facility with an innovative, cost-effective, and rather unique approach to handling wastewater: the Walnut Cove wastewater treatment plant.