Green Infrastructure

Winter Weather O&M for Green Infrastructure

Operations and maintenance (O&M) is critical to the long-term effectiveness and success of green infrastructure practices in any community. However, wet weather in colder climate communities often presents unique challenges to green infrastructure maintenance - from snow, sediment, and salt to storage and drainage. This webcast will showcase two presentations that illustrate some of the realities and best practices of winter O&M and will build off of the information shared in U.S. EPA's 2014 O&M Webcast


Session 1 - Green Infrastructure Maintenance: Facts, Fiction, Cold Weather, and Costs

Tom Ballestero, Director, University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center

Maintenance is a common concern raised which may prevent adoption of green infrastructure because it is relatively new and does not fit within the traditional maintenance practices for community infrastructure. There is also concern that green infrastructure systems will freeze and be completely ineffective in cold regions. Over one decade of monitoring green infrastructure systems in cold regions underscore their continued effectiveness. Interestingly, there are more cold weather issues with conventional drainage infrastructure than green infrastructure. This leads to another human dimension of green infrastructure which is that the bar is set very high for green infrastructure performance. Numerous studies have demonstrated that green infrastructure capital and maintenance costs are routinely less expensive than conventional infrastructure for new development. However for retrofit and redevelopment projects, any drainage improvements (conventional or green infrastructure) will be more expensive than doing nothing

Session 2 - Clean Water & Safe Roads: Finding the Balance

Brooke Asleson, Watershed Project Manager, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Matt Morreim, Assistant Street Maintenance Engineer, City of St. Paul, MN

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has partnered with local and state experts in the 7-County Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA) to create a plan for effectively managing salt use to protect our water resources in a responsible and strategic approach. Solutions were developed collaboratively to find a balance between clean water and safe winter travel conditions. As part of this effort the MPCA and partners collaborated to monitor, evaluate and better understand the level of chloride in lakes, streams, wetlands and groundwater. The Chloride Management Plan incorporates water quality conditions, sources of chloride, salt reduction strategies, protection strategies, monitoring recommendations as well as measurement and tracking of results. The goal of this plan is to provide strategies and tools to assist local partners in reducing salt use while providing safe conditions for the public.


Tom Ballestero

Tom Ballestero is presently the director of the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center. He has been with UNH since 1983 and in the past has served as chair of the Civil Engineering Department and also director of the New Hampshire Water Resources Research center. His academic training is in hydrology and water resources engineering, with specialty areas in stormwater management, stream restoration, and bedrock hydrogeology.

Brooke Asleson 

Brooke Asleson is a project manager in the watershed program at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency where she works collaboratively with federal, state, and local agencies as well as watershed groups, citizens, and research institutions in the Twin Cities Metro Area to complete restoration and protection studies, implementation projects, and assists with other watershed related issues. Brooke has been with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency since 2007. For the last four years Brooke has been working on Chloride and Water Quality issues at the MPCA. Prior to working for the MPCA, she obtained her Master’s degree in Water Resources Science from the University of Minnesota. 

Matt Morreim

Matt Morreim is the Assistant Street Maintenance Engineer at the City of St. Paul, MN. Matt, with the help of his great staff, manages the year round maintenance of 873 miles of city, county and state roads. Matt has been with the City of St. Paul since 2010 and spends his efforts upgrading snow fighting equipment, conducting winter maintenance training and improving winter operations to provide excellent services while reducing chloride usage. Matt is a member of the American Public Works Association Winter Maintenance Subcommittee.