Plans to implement the Village of Cazenovia’s Stormwater Runoff Harvesting Project have been mapped out.
After Labor Day, rooftops belonging to 12 of Cazenovia’s historic buildings will undergo renovations. Drainage systems will be installed, redirecting collected rain water into a 10,000 gallon cistern or three existing wells in the area.
“When we have a real gully-washer, the number of gallons flowing through the sewage treatment plant jumps anywhere from 300 gallons per minute to about 3,000 gallons. It over powers the system and results in untreated water entering Chittenango Creek,” said village trustee Peggy Van Arnam. “This will allow us to separate stormwater from the roofs of these 12 buildings and divert it to either existing storm sewers, vegetative areas that will clean it on its way to the aquifer, or the underground cistern. We will then be able to reuse that water.”
New York state law dictates it is illegal to mix stormwater with sanitary sewer water. Because the buildings in question were built before the law was enacted, the state has not pursued the issue.
The village had long sought a solution, which recently came in the form of a $325,000 grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Green Innovation Grant Program.
GHD has signed on to engineer the project. Easements have been acquired from each building’s owners, costing them nothing to have the improvements completed. Employees of the Village of Cazenovia Department of Public Works will handle much of the exterior work.
To ensure no other utilities are affected during construction, existing gas and sewer lines have been illustrated along the alleyways behind the Lincklaen House and alongside Angel’s Deli.
Ten buildings on the northern side of Albany Street will have their historically flat roofs altered to contain the rain water and reroute the fluids. Much of the water will be directed to nearby wells or permeable. A 10,000 gallon cistern will soon be installed underneath Telephone Park.
Two buildings on the southern side of Albany Street, the Municipal Building and the Fallon Law Building, will route the water to Chittenango Creek.
GHD has offered to buy an old-fashioned hand pump, to be installed above the cistern. The water will be used to water the village flower baskets and planters, among other uses. While it won’t be potable, it will be available for use by Cazenovia residents. Education programs are planned to teach young students about water conservation.
The projected completion date of the harvesting project is December of 2012. Van Arnam said she hopes to have work started this year, before the ground freezes and snow falls.
More information on the Cazenovia Water System can be found at email@example.com or by calling Charles Seager, Water Superintendent, at 655-4428.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.