Onondaga County’s award winning Save the Rain Program is expanding to suburban communities. Today, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney announced the selection of fourteen projects to receive financial assistance from the county’s new Suburban Green Infrastructure Program (SGIP).
This past year, the County’s Save the Rain program exceeded the County Executive’s goal of advancing fifty distinct green infrastructure projects within the City of Syracuse’s combined sewer footprint, all of which were constructed to address sewer overflows into Onondaga Lake and its tributaries. By year’s end, the Save the Rain program will be almost half way to achieving compliance with a federal court order requiring Onondaga County to capture 250 million gallons of storm water per year via the use of green infrastructure by 2018.
In January, Onondaga County’s Department of Water Environment Protection (WEP) announced a call for suburban green infrastructure projects in response to the Onondaga County Legislature’s authorization in 2011 to expand the Save the Rain program to suburban communities. While green infrastructure is being put to work in the City of Syracuse to address environmental issues associated with Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), the suburban program is targeted at projects aimed at reducing stormwater impacts on over burdened and aging sanitary sewer systems and pump stations.
“The expansion of the Save the Rain program into suburban towns and villages is great news for our community,” said County Executive Joanie Mahoney. “We have had wonderful success advancing truly innovative green infrastructure projects in Syracuse and I am excited to see so much interest in adopting those same strategies in suburban communities.”
Any community within the County’s consolidated sanitary district, but for the City of Syracuse, was eligible to apply for funding from the expanded Save the Rain program; applications were due on March 30, 2012. The proposed green infrastructure projects were vetted by the Department of Water Environment Protection, which placed a priority on advancing projects that will ultimately benefit the county owned, as well as town and village, sewage collection systems through the reduction of stormwater infiltration into aging and often leaky sewage and pump station infrastructure.
Green infrastructure manages rainfall where it lands via the use of bio-retention swales, porous pavement, tree plantings, rain barrels, and green roofs; all of which are proven to be effective in mitigating sanitary sewer overflows and water pollution.
“Last year, the County Legislature took a bold step in approving an expansion of the Save the Rain program to include suburban communities. I would like to thank the County Executive and her team for advancing these projects to the Legislature for consideration and congratulate the candidates on their hard work in developing some very innovative and forward thinking green infrastructure projects. We look forward to reviewing and discussing the projects recommended by the County, and offering our support to those projects that meet or exceed the goals and objectives of the Save the Rain program,” said Ryan McMahon, Chair of the Onondaga County Legislature
“The Water Environment Protection Department is extremely excited by the opportunity to team with local municipalities to remedy existing inflow problems using green technologies. All the projects to be funded are sound investments in better sewer system management. We feel that when completed some of these projects will deserve national recognition as the very best in class, another example of the County Executive’s leadership moving our whole community on a more sustainable path,” said Tom Rhoads, Commissioner of the Department of Water Environment Protection.
The projects selected to receive funding are:
Town of Clay
This project replaces conventional paving with porous pavement on Hummingbird Path and Indigo Path in the Bayberry Community. Porous pavement will prevent surface water from entering existing storm sewer systems that flow into the Seneca River and potentially the surrounding sanitary sewer system.
Town of Dewitt
Rain Barrels Tree Plantings, Subsurface Infiltration
Park Hill: $123,000
This project utilizes three types of green infrastructure technologies:
(1) Rain barrel program for the Park Hill neighborhood;
(2) Community tree planting program – planting 100 trees across the greater Park Hill neighborhood;
(3) Water quality infiltration system designed with underground perforated piping.
Franklin Park: $219,000
Green infrastructure implementation includes two components – rain barrels and tree planting. The rain barrel program aims to distribute approximately 800 rain barrels to 400 homeowners. The community tree planting initiative will involve the planting of 250 trees in the Franklin Park neighborhood.
Village of Manlius
The Village of Manlius will implement a Rain Barrel Pilot Program under which it will distribute 25 rain barrels on a first come, first served basis to village homeowners. Rain barrels capture the runoff from downspouts, keeping water away from the home’s foundation and preventing the water from entering the sewer system.
Village of Fayetteville
Porous Pavement, Pavement Reduction, Rain Gardens, Tree Planting
This project showcases several green infrastructure technologies in the Lower Village Streetscape Enhancement Project in the Village of Fayetteville. The implementation of porous pavement, rain gardens, and tree planting aims to reduce inflow and infiltration into the County’s interceptor sewer, and improve the water quality of Limestone Creek.
Village of E Syracuse
Rain Garden, Sand Filter
The project includes the installation of a 300 square foot rain garden at the northwest corner of Department of Public Works property which will capture runoff from 2400 square feet of roof area. Downspouts from eastern half of the building will be redirected into rain garden. The village also will construct a sand filter to treat and partially capture runoff from the approximately 35,750 square feet of paved parking area around the DPW facility.
Town of Geddes
Infiltration Trench, Porous Pavement
Grove Road: $348,500
This project includes the installation of an infiltration trench along the side of Grove Road from Cherry Road to Bronson Road in the Westvale neighborhood. Perforated pipe will be installed in the infiltration trench along one side of the road, with catch basins at the intersections. This will capture stormwater runoff from the paved areas and the adjacent drainage area and help to mitigate recurrent flooding of Bronson Road.
Geddes Town Hall: $119,000
The Town of Geddes is replacing the conventionally paved Town Hall parking lot with porous pavement. The porous pavement will collect stormwater from its surface area as well as runoff from the surrounding surface areas.
Town of Camillus
Porous Pavement, Rain Gardens, Rain Barrels, Tree Planting
The project includes the use of several green infrastructure technologies. Porous pavement, rain gardens, rain barrels and tree planting in Shove Park will reduce stormwater runoff for impervious surfaces at the Park, reducing stormwater inflow and infiltration to the sanitary sewer system. This green infrastructure is expected to reduce runoff by 4,545,300 gallons annually.
Town of Manlius
This project involves the retrofit of an underground infiltration system for the Muirfield drainage district. The new system will replace an existing system which is over 30 years old and is not working to design potential.
Village of Solvay
The Village of Solvay is installing a bioretention system along the base of a hill behind the Solvay Youth Center. The bioretention installation will be approximately 500 feet long, with a width of 9 feet to capture runoff from approximately 2.87 acres. This bioretention system is designed to capture approximately 968,200 gallons per year.
Village of Baldwinsville
The Village of Baldwinsville intends to reconstruct Lock Street with a center median which will include the installation of approximately 1440 linear feet of bioretention. Each year, this will capture approximately 7,073,300 gallons of stormwater from a drainage area of 17 acres.
Village of North Syracuse
This project is located in Centerville Park in the Village of North Syracuse and will install 2 stormwater collections systems, each conveying surface runoff to an independent underground infiltration system. These systems have perforated piping within an infiltration bed, designed to accommodate the runoff from 111,892 square feet of surface area, capturing 759,200 gallons each year.
Town of Salina
This project is located at the Salina Town Hall and will consist of installing 2 stormwater collection systems. These systems will capture runoff from the site’s surface area including portions of the building rooftop through the disconnection of roof leaders. Each system will convey stormwater runoff to independent underground infiltration systems.