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Citizens Partners for Green Infrastructure Project


Indianapolis- Citizens Energy Group, along with United Water, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. and hundreds of volunteers, took part in a massive tree planting on the city’s near west side today. The tree planting is part of a larger green infrastructure project called CSO 033 and is designed to reduce raw sewage overflows. 

“As little as a quarter-inch of rain can overload the combined sewers causing raw sewage to overflow into nearby rivers and streams,” said Jeff Harrison, Citizens Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Today’s tree planting, and CSO 033 as a whole, demonstrates Citizens’ commitment to finding creative solutions for addressing this problem.”

Together with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB), Citizens selected four species of trees, all native to Indiana. Citizens’ contractor United Water paid for the trees and volunteers from United Water, KIB and Citizens planted the trees along Luett Avenue, Livingston Avenue, Somerset Avenue, Rochester Avenue and near IPS 67 Stephen Foster Elementary School. Citizens has been installing roadside planters on several nearby neighborhood streets since the spring. The planters temporarily store stormwater and then release it slowly into the combined sewer system. This technique prevents the combined sewer system from becoming overwhelmed and overflowing into Little Eagle Creek. 

The stormwater planters will be cared for by KIB’s Urban Naturalist Team, a small group of college students interested in an environmental science career. The newly-planted trees will be watered for the next two years by KIB’s Youth Tree Team, a group of 80 high school youth who water and care for trees KIB plants each summer.

“Both the tree planting and stormwater planters are inventive and effective ways to combat the city’s raw sewage overflow problem,” said David Forsell, KIB President. “Citizens continues to look toward green infrastructure as an engineering best practice. That dedication will benefit the community for years to come.” 

The tree planting is the final phase of the $1.5 million CSO 033 project. To learn more about CSO 033, visit CitizensEnergyGroup.com. 

About Citizens Energy Group

Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 800,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities only for the benefit of customers and the community. Additional information is available online at Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - YouTube

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