Storage Facilities Now Accepting Flow from 11 Sewer Outfalls, Reducing Pollution to Onondaga Creek, Harbor Brook and Onondaga Lake
(1/2/14) Syracuse, NY – Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney today announced that the Clinton Combined Sewage Storage Facility in Armory Square in Downtown Syracuse and the Lower-Harbor Brook Storage Facility on State Fair Boulevard are on-line. With these successes, Onondaga County meets major milestones in the County’s federal court order requiring Onondaga County to reduce combined sewer overflows into Onondaga Creek, Harbor Brook and Onondaga Lake. The facilities are now capturing the flow from eleven combined sewer outfalls, reducing pollution that results from heavy storms overwhelming the City of Syracuse’s combined sewer system.
“Thank you to both project teams for their resolve to meet this important milestone on schedule and with minimal disturbance to the community,” said Joanie Mahoney. “These storage facilities are a cost effective and environmentally responsible alternative to building sewage treatment plants. When I was sworn in as County Executive six years ago, our community was on a very different path towards cleaning up Onondaga Lake. I’m proud of how far we have come in such a short period of time and once again congratulate our project teams for their monumental work effort to ensure these projects are operational on schedule,” Mahoney continued.
During her first days in office, County Executive Mahoney halted the construction of a sewage treatment facility in Armory Square, which had an estimated $94 million price tag, and sought out alternative approaches to reducing sewer overflows in Syracuse.
In November 2009, Federal Justice Frederick Scullen approved a new County plan to reduce sewer overflows that required the construction of two storage facilities as well as the construction of hundreds of green infrastructure projects throughout the City of Syracuse that capture stormwater before it enters the combined sewer system.
The Clinton Storage Facility, adjacent to the Museum of Science and Technology, includes three tunnels for storage, each of which is 19 feet high, 15 feet wide, and 850 feet long – the length of almost 3 football fields. These tunnels are 19 feet below the surface of the restored parking area. A total of 2,500 cubic yards of concrete were poured in the construction of this facility. The 6 million gallon capacity of the facility equates to the volume of just over 9 Olympic sized swimming pools. Construction costs total $77.8 million, including $31.2 million in grant funding from federal and state resources.
On November 27, 2013, County Executive Mahoney announced the partial reopening of the former “Trolley Lot” in Armory Square, providing parking spaces free of charge for holiday shoppers. The lot will continue to provide complimentary parking until final paving and restoration of the parking lot, scheduled to occur in Spring 2014.
The Lower Harbor Brook CSO Conveyances and Storage Facility Project is a 4.9 million gallon storage facility located on State Fair Boulevard between Hiawatha Blvd. and West Genesee Street. After a storm event subsides and sewer capacity is restored, the contents of the storage tank will be pumped to the Harbor Brook Interceptor Sewer for conveyance to the Metropolitan Treatment Plant (Metro) for full treatment.
The project also includes construction of CSO conveyance pipelines on State Fair Blvd., Hiawatha Blvd. and Erie Blvd. to convey combined sewage from the overflow regulators to the storage tanks during rainfall and snowmelt events. Construction of the facility and conveyances total $29.1 million.
To further enhance the sustainability of the facility, the project includes green infrastructure components. The stormwater runoff from the rooftops of the storage tank and controls building will be stored within the CSO storage tank and used for a second and third cleaning flush of the tank. This water will ultimately be treated at Metro eliminating the need for this stormwater to be treated on-site. The stormwater storage is designed to capture the 100-year storm (5.2 inches) from the tank and the control building rooftop.
The County’s Save the Rain Program is a national model for sustainable stormwater management, recognized by EPA as a green infrastructure partner community in 2011, awarded a 2013 U.S. Water Prize by U.S. Water Alliance, and most recently recognized by New York State with a 2013 Environmental Excellence Award.
For more information on the storage facilities, including 3D models of the facilities and photos of the construction process, please visit the project pages for Clinton Storage Facility and Lower Harbor Brook Storage Facility.