Does green infrastructure require more maintenance?
No. A common misconception about green infrastructure is that it requires significantly more maintenance than traditional gray infrastructure or traditional landscape maintenance. This is not the case. Maintenance tasks are usually routine and can be done by the property owner or traditional landscape maintenance crew. Additional education may be needed for landscape crews unfamiliar with green infrastructure systems. However, the tools, practices, and manpower required are unaffected.
All stormwater management systems, whether gray or green, are recommended to have regular maintenance after storm events to inspect for clogs, debris, sediment accumulation, etc. The main difference is that failure to keep up with regular maintenance of a vegetated green infrastructure system will have a more noticeable aesthetic impact than and underground gray system.
Maintenance varies depending on the type of green infrastructure practice. For example, recommended maintenance for pervious asphalt pavement involves biannual vacuuming to remove fine sediments. Less overall maintenance is required compared to regular asphalt due to superior snow melting characteristics.
Landscape practices need regular maintenance to remove debris, replace mulch, and maintain vegetation (weed removal, cutback of dead vegetation, etc.). Inspections for erosion and sediment accumulation, pH testing, and other specified maintenance tasks can be performed occasionally as needed.