Stormwater Retrofits Program
Rain and snow generates stormwater runoff that flows over the surface of saturated soils and over non-porous or impervious surfaces like roof tops and parking lots. Many contaminants, like fine sediment, metals, oils, nutrients from fertilizers and bacteria, are located on the surface. They’re easily dislodged and carried by stormwater into storm sewers, watercourses and eventually into drinking water supply reservoirs. Studies have shown that under certain circumstances, runoff generated during the first hour of moderate-to-high intensity storm events, commonly referred to as the first-flush, can have a greater pollutant concentration than raw sewage. It’s this first-flush that New York City’s stormwater management programs are designed to treat.
Funded originally by New York City in 1997 with $7.625 million, the Stormwater Retrofit Program is administered by the Catskill Watershed Corporation to support the design, construction and maintenance of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) that address existing sources of stormwater runoff in the Catskill/Delaware watershed where necessary to correct or reduce existing erosion and/or pollution. In 2003, NYC allocated and contracted with CWC for an additional $7.55 million to extend the program through 2012.
Typical projects have included improved collection and conveyance systems to the point of treatment, primary screening and sedimentation to remove trash and large fraction solids, followed by inactive pool sedimentation, oil separation, biological treatment through plant uptake or filtration. Final discharge may be to surface waters or infiltration into the soil profile.
For more specific program information regarding Program rules, project eligibility, application forms, schedules and project selection, visit the Catskill Watershed Corporation website.
The Stormwater Retrofit Program provides a 75% cost-share for the retrofitting of existing sites treat stormwater runoff. As of June, 2003, the program has provided over $3,863,000 through 35 municipal and public school projects, including the purchase of a hydroseeder to help establish a critical area seeding program; installing stormwater collection, conveyance and treatment structures within residential street right-of-ways; and buying a truck-mounted "vac-all" for the maintenance of stormwater structures.