Going Green: Storm water runoff
Our Terry Ettinger tells us about a unique type of pavement that is being tested in Lake George, and how it helps with storm water runoff.
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LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- Storm water runoff can be a major source of pollution in beautiful bodies of water like Lake George in eastern New York, and nearby highways are a big part of the problem.
"A typical roadway, which directs the storm water to the edges, collects it, and then it has to be dealt with, using infiltrators or piping it into bodies of water like Lake George. Right now, a lot of the storm water from this road goes directly into Lake George untreated," said Walt Lender, Executive Director of Lake George Association.
However, Beach Road, alongside Lake George, is being repaved with porous pavement courtesy of federal grants and funding from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation.
"This is the biggest stretch of roadway that's being done with this technology anywhere in the United States, and this is going to be a true laboratory for the rest of the country to see how it will work in varying climates," said Matthew Driscoll, CEO and President of NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation.
Porous paving has been used for walkways and parking lots.
"Porous pavement is actually part of a system that will infiltrate storm water from the roadway, down through the pavement itself, and into the groundwater, essentially into a bed of sand and gravel beneath the roadway," explained Lender. "When storm water flows over a road surface, it picks up the pollutants and the sediment that collect on the roadway, and carries it across the surface of the land, to the body of water that's nearby, in this case, it's Lake George."
So, the idea here is to hold the water in place, while it filters through the soil, and the contaminants are removed before it reaches streams and lakes.