Brooklyn Goes Green to Manage Stormwater and Reduce CSOs

A feature of the Green Infrastructure Neighborhood Demonstration Area from nyc.gov

A feature of the Green Infrastructure Neighborhood Demonstration Area from nyc.gov

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced the completion of a Green Infrastructure Neighborhood Demonstration Area in Brooklyn, designed to prevent nearly four million gallons of stormwater from reaching the combined sewer system each year. The Demonstration Area is the first of three that will be completed as a part of NYC’s Modified Consent Order which formalized the use of green infrastructure as an important part of the plan to reduce CSOs. Two other similar demonstration areas will be completed within the year.

The project is a partnership between the New York State Department for Environmental Protection, NYC Parks and Recreation Department, and East Brooklyn Business Improvement District.  As a part of the $880,000 project, 29 bioswales, 29 new trees, two stormwater Greenstreets (similar to bioswales but with added features), and elongated tree pits were installed.

The benefits of the project go beyond stormwater management. The area in Brooklyn where the project was implemented had been identified by the Parks & Recreation Department as a Trees for Public Health Neighborhood, which means this area had a lower than normal tree count as well as higher rates of asthma for young people.  The 29 new trees were chosen to address these issues while also soaking up stormwater. All aspects of the project will contribute to better water and air quality as well as enhanced aesthetics of the neighborhood.

“Converting the city’s impervious neighborhoods to a more natural and absorbent landscape integrates water quality and ecological benefits for a more sustainable community,“ said NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens.

Pre- and post-installation data will be collected from the Demonstration Areas in order to analyze data on CSO volume reduction from green infrastructure projects. Other associated benefits from green infrastructure installation will also be examined on a multi-block scale. All of these data will then be extrapolated for modeling green infrastructure cost-benefit data on a watershed and citywide basis.

To learn more about NYC’s Green Infrastructure Neighborhood Demonstration Areas, read the press release here:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/press_releases/13-026pr.shtml