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Downspout Disconnect Project,
Wilmington, DE

As part of a larger effort to reduce Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) the City of Wilmington decided to take a green approach to the problem in the area of the Rockford Road Combined Sewer. The Downspout Disconnect Project works with individual homeowners to develop state-of-the-art green solutions to disconnect homeowners’ downspouts from the combined sewer system. Through applying site-specific engineering and landscape design, the Project develops appropriate, individually-designed green solutions for each downspout. Solutions range from the most simple – disconnecting the downspout to run onto a lawn – to the more complex, such as creating rain gardens or green roofs. The City-sponsored project pays for and manages both design and construction.

As the public participation consultant on the Downspout Disconnect Project Team, HFA leads the stakeholder outreach and community organizing efforts. HFA has created a public information campaign to increase awareness of the project and to have as many property owners sign up for the project as possible. The information campaign has included multiple mailings of informational booklets and flyer, as well as designing doorhangers and other eye-catching promotional materials, like kitchen magnets advertising the Project’s 24-hour hotline, Project Team car magnets, and construction “at-work” yard signs. HFA also organized a public workshop where property owners were invited to learn about the project, sign up, and speak with Project Team members. Throughout the course of the project, HFA maintains a database of detailed property owner information, tracking each property’s progress through the project and any contact the Project Team has with the property owners.

Click here for the Downspout Disconnect project sheet

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