Tag Archives: stormwater

Restoration of Tributary 26 to Butternut Creek (LaFayette, NY) Nearing Completion

On June 30-July 1, 2017 an extreme rainfall event caused the lateral migration of the of Tributary 26 to Butternut Creek located south of Colton Road in LaFayette, New York.  The migration of the stream channel caused undercutting and erosion of the stream bank to the east and deposition of new point breaks downstream.

Tributary 26 looking southerly. Eroded streambank visible on left (east).

In collaboration with Dr. Ted Endreny from SUNY ESF and the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District, NSE developed a design plan for the restoration of this stretch of Tributary 26 and was intended to reclaim riparian area east of the creek for the landowner and implementing conservation and restoration techniques intended to prevent future lateral migration of the creek and preserving it’s natural function.  The design followed Rosgen stream restoration principles and consisted of:

  • reestablishment of the creek channel to the west
  • bendway weirs to deflect and dissipate energy away from the eroding east stream bank
  • rock riffles and large stones to dissipate energy within the newly reestablished stream channel
  • dogwood plantings in the reclaimed floodbank and fascines to protect the edge of bank.

Design plan for Tributary 26 Restoration

Construction was initiated per the design plan by the selected contractor J&J Landscaping the week of November 27, 2017 and earthwork completed on December 8.  Plantings to follow in mid-December.

Reestablished creek looking southerly from Colton Road.

Assuming continuing adaptive management measures to be informed by the landowner, the reestablished creek and energy dissipation measures will provide for a stable planform, yet able to pass extreme events via a connected functioning floodplain.

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

Recent Save the Rain Project Featured on Channel 9!

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.

Swallow’s Tavern Green Infrastructure Project Closes out 2015

Construction of green infrastructure was completed in late 2015 consisting of a dry well to management roof runoff and a porous asphalt system to manage parking lot runoff.  Green infrastructure was designed by Natural Systems Engineering and construction was performed by the Rich and Gardner Construction Company (Syracuse, New York).  The project was funded by Onondaga County’s award winning Save the Rain program.

Swallow's Porous Asphalt Placement

Swallow’s Porous Asphalt Placement

Green Infrastructure, porous asphalt parking lot completed at Tucker Missionary Baptist Church!


In October 2015 construction was completed on the porous asphalt installation at Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 515 Oakwood Avenue, Syracuse, New York designed by Natural Systems Engineering.  The project involved construction of 12,000 sq ft of porous asphalt surface to manage runoff from approximately 70,000 sq ft of impervious lot and rooftop.  The project was funded by Onondaga County’s award-winning “Save the Rain” program and will remove over 1.5 milion gal of stormwater per year from the City’s combined sewer system!  The contractor was Ruston Paving Company (DeWitt, New York).   Construction (20)

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

Third Phase of Onondaga Commons Green Infrastructure Completed!

The third phase of the Onondaga Commons Green Infrastructure project, consisting of a porous asphalt lot at the Rural Metro facility located at 488 W. Onondaga Street, Syracuse, was completed on November 24, 2014.  The project was designed to capture runoff from the surrounding asphalt parking lot and the Rural Metro building, estimated at over 1 1/2 million gallons annually.  The project was designed by Natural Systems Engineering in partnership with Short Enterprises (Syracuse, New York).  Construction was performed by Daly Construction (Sacketts Harbor, New York).

Rural Metro Porous Asphalt Lot

Rural Metro Porous Asphalt Lot