Tag Archives: infiltration

Porous asphalt vehicle display lot completed for Crest Acura!

With funding under Onondaga County’s award-winning Save the Rain program, Crest Acura’s porous asphalt lot was completed this summer.  The project was designed by Natural Systems Engineering and constructed by Lan-Co Construction (East Syracuse, New York).  The porous asphalt was designed to capture runoff from the 10,000 sq ft porous surface and the 9950 sq ft impervious asphalt lot located to the northeast.  Roughly 1000 sq ft of greenspace was added to replace asphalt in the right-of-way of the City of Syracuse.

The project will manage a minimum of 400,000 gal of strormwater per year, removing that flow from Syracuse’s combined sewer system.



Natural Systems Engineering’s Kyle Thomas Quoted in Long Island’s Newsday

Natural Systems Engineering’s Principal, Kyle Thomas, was quoted for this Newsday (New York) newspaper article on green stormwater management.   The story describes how the Nassau County municipalities of North Hempstead, Great Neck Plaza and Floral Park have released their 2017 Stormwater Management Reports calling for the management of stormwater water in an eco-friendly manner.  Thomas was interviewed to provide a somewhat technical perspective on what management of stormwater in a green fashion actually means.


A Village of Great Neck Plaza street sweeper

Final 2016 “Save the Rain” Green Infrastructure Project Complete!

In November 2016, construction was substantially completed for the Gear Factory Porous Asphalt lot serving the northern 200 block of South Geddes Street.  The project involved conversion of impervious alleys and a parking lot associated with the Gear Factory building and the building housing City Hardware into a porous asphalt lot and infiltration basin, which will manage runoff from the 19,000 sq ft of impervious hardscape and almost 15,000 sq ft of rooftop.  The project will manage roughly 630,000 gal of runoff annually preventing that volume of runoff from entering the City of Syracuse’s combined sewer system and mitigating combined sewer overflows from that system.

Gear Factory Alley Porous Asphalt

Patent Issued – “Retrofit Catch Basin for Use in Stormwater Management Practice”!

On September 8, 2015 patent number 9.127,488 was issued by the USPTO for “Retrofit Catch Basin for Use in Stormwater Management Practice.”  The device allows a conventional stormwater catch basin to be retrofitted to divert runoff to an alternative practice (such as green infrastructure) while allowing the catch basin to continue to serve as an overflow for the alternative practice.  Now looking for a partner with whom to commercialize this!

Catch Basin Retrofit Schematic

First 2015 Save the Rain Project Nearing Completion!

Work is almost complete on the porous asphalt lot at Crest Acura.  The permeable base is shown below.  The project was designed by Natural Systems Engineering and construction is being performed by Rich & Gardner Construction Company (Syracuse, New York).  In addition to managing incident precipitation to the ~15,000 sq ft lot, the project will also infiltrate runoff from the adjoining Crest Acura showroom and service areas.  A total of 1.5 million gallons of stormwater will be managed annually.

On June 1-2, 2015, following placement of the permeable base course shown below, NSE measured the site-wide infiltration rate through the roof sump/overflow catch basin.  Following the June 1 rain event, the site exhibited an infiltration rate of 0.35 in/hr.  Based on this rate, the infiltration basin will completely dewater in roughly 10 hours assuming no additional rainwater input.

Future Crest Vehicle Display Porous Asphalt Lot

Future Crest Vehicle Display Porous Asphalt Lot

Construction underway for JC Smith Green Infrastructure!

Construction began last week on the JC Smith green infrastructure (GI) project located at 338 Peat Street in Syracuse consisting of a porous asphalt lot, and streetside bioretention areas.  The porous asphalt lot will manage stormwater that formerly ran off the impervious storage lot, The bioretention areas will manage runoff from Peat Street and the Canal Street Extension.  See photos below.  The project is funded by Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program and Natural Systems Engineering, worked constructively with the City of Syracuse to address sewer connection issues given the constraints of the County’s award and the owner’s budget for the project.  Construction by J & J Landscaping of East Syracuse.

JC Smith Porous Lot Stone Infiltration Basin with Bioretention Excavation in Foreground.

JC Smith Porous Lot Stone Infiltration Basin with Bioretention Excavation in Foreground.

Latest Phase of Onondaga Commons Green Infrastructure Completed!

Construction of green infrastructure consisting of porous asphalt and added greenspace was completed on October 14, 2014 at 414-416 W. Onondaga St., Syracuse.  The project is the latest project of the Onondaga Commons redevelopment and is funded by Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program.  Natural Systems Engineering successfully collaborated with Short Enterprises on this phase as well as the preceding AAA,  Lean-on-Me Day Care projects and the forthcoming Rural Metro green infrastructure project to be completed in 2015.

This project will manage over 1 million gal of what would otherwise be stormwater runoff to the City of Syracuse combined sewer system annually.

Porous asphalt lot and added greenspace at 414-416 W. Onondaga St.

Porous asphalt lot and added greenspace at 414-416 W. Onondaga St.


Green Infrastructure Makes Business Sense

Photo Credit: The Icehouse

Photo Credit: Stormwater Magazine, May 2014 and The Icehouse

The May 2014 Issue of Stormwater Magazine contains an excellent article on page 44 entitled “Exploring New Partners to Green Our Urban Landscapes.”  The article describes how incorporating green infrastructure (GI) into site development can yield a return on investment.  Some of the examples cited in the article include:

  • The visual amenity afforded by a green roof incorporated into an apartment complex in Boylston MA resulted in an increase in rent of between $300 and $500 a month for those units that overlooked the green roof.
  • the DECREASE in the amount of frost heave in porous pavements in Chicago, IL when compared with conventional paved surfaces has resulted in a longer lifespan for the installations making porous pavement the lower cost alternative.
  • green roofs double the lifespan of conventional roofs thus incurring savings in roof replacement dollars over a 40 year lifespan.

These examples don’t even consider the possible benefits available through various subsidies for such technology nor consider the relative offset in costs where regulations or ordinances would require stormwater management, whether through GI or conventional measures anyway.  More detailed information is contained NRDC’s 2013 report “The Green Edge: How Commercial Property Investment in Green Infrastructure Creates Value” discussed in our January 31, 2014 blog post.

Buffalo, New York Green Infrastructure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will provide technical assistance to the Buffalo Sewer Authority to expand the use of green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and improve Buffalo’s resilience to the impacts of climate change. The EPA will assist Buffalo in assessing paved and unsightly vacant lots, which contribute to stormwater runoff and pollution of local waters. The newly announced assistance augments a $500,000 grant provided to Buffalo in March 2014 to help fund green infrastructure projects in the city. The projects are expected to prevent nearly 5 million gallons of stormwater runoff per year from flowing into Lake Erie.

“The EPA is very excited to assist the Buffalo region in assessing how vacant lots across Buffalo contribute to stormwater pollution,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The expansion of green infrastructure on vacant lots will promote sustainability and expand projects to improve water quality and withstand the increasing impacts of flooding related to climate change.”

Source:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 05-01-14

Natural Systems Engineering and Spectra Engineering Team wins County Green Design Contract!

On April 7, 2014, the team of Spectra Engineering (Syracuse, New York) and Natural Systems Engineering was notified of award for RFP No. 13-3330-002 – Green Project Design Professional Services for Onondaga County, New York.  The project will involve the design of “green streets” under the County’s award-winning “Save the Rain” program.

September 2011 "Save the Rain" newsletter.

Photo Credit: September 2011 Onondaga County “Save the Rain” newsletter.