An innovative partnership to link stormwater management with workforce development will be under way soon at Detroit’s Central High School.

Initially the project will see a private company, Parjana Distribution, installing its system of below-ground plastic devices at Central High’s softball field to enable standing water to drain more quickly into the soil. Working with the Detroit Police Athletic League, the partnership will also train recent Central High graduates for jobs in so-called green infrastructure careers such as stormwater management.

Dealing with stormwater to keep it out of combined sewer overflow systems is considered important to saving taxpayer dollars. Unless stormwater can be dealt with in some more natural way, it runs off streets and parking lots into sewers where cities must spend millions of dollars treating it before discharging it back into the environment.

After the initial work at Central High School, the Parjana/PAL partnership will attempt to partner with property owners in a 300-block area around the school to deal with stormwater issues.