Bottom Slope/Fish Ramp at Ley Creek (pre-existing stone dam on the left)
Streams and lakes in Onondaga County in Central New York area have been significantly altered and degraded as a result of urbanization and industrialization. Located in the Lake Ontario watershed, the area is eligible for funds under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for habitat improvements in the watershed. In 2010, the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA), secured funding under the GLRI for restoration measures in the Onondaga Lake watershed.
Following the successful restoration of Beartrap Creek in Salina, New York in 2010, an additional habitat restoration effort was undertaken in the South Branch of Ley Creek in DeWitt, New York. The Central New York Chapter of the IWLA, in consultation with the Onondaga Environmental Institute (OEI), identified a low head stone dam suspected as acting as an impediment to upstream migration of walleye and northern pike for spring spawning as an opportunity for improvement. Natural Systems Engineering designed a stone bottom slope (or fish ramp) consisting of field stones placed to the toe of the dam to allow fish passage during periods of higher streamflow. Partners on the project include Joe Green Excavating (Phoenix, New York) for construction, OEI for pre- and post-construction biota monitoring, and the Central New York Chapter of the IWLA who was instrumental in site selection and logistics.
In the late summer and early fall, the urban retrofit geothermal project located at 248 Bryant Avenue in Syracuse, New York was completed. Pipes were fused and run into the basement and pressure tested. The wells were then grouted with a flowable cementitious grout (See Photograph 1).
Following completion of the site work, the mechanical contractor, Renaissance HVAC (Verona, New York), completed the installation of the 4-ton GeoStar Cypress Combination heat pump see Photograph 2). Wells were completed by purging and filling with a 20% ethylene glycol solution for freeze protection. The combination heat pump system allows the heating of the house both with air and radiant hot water and air conditioning in the summer. The geothermal heat pump will be powered by the grid-connected 6.4 kW solar array mounted on the home’s rooftop.
Piping and the heat pump system were provided by Phoenix Energy Supply who, along with Renaissance HVAC, also provided tremendous support on this challenging project! The next steps on the path to net-zero are to connect domestic hot water to a heat pump and switchout the natural gas fueled stove and oven!
The Ra-Lin “Save the Rain” project designed by Natural Systems Engineering was featured on WSYR News Channel 9 on September 30, 2016. The project involved construction of approximately 16, 000 sq ft of porous asphalt and a bioretention area to manage stormwater runoff from the 1.5 acres of impervious areas at the discount appliance store located on Burnet Avenue in Syracuse. The project will result in the management of over 1.2 million gallons of stormwater annually, preventing that volume from entering the storm sewer system and contributing to combined sewer overflows to Onondaga Lake. The story on Channel 9 shows how the porous asphalt allows infiltration of rainwater through the porous surface.