Environmentalists and Queens community leaders hailed the passage last week of City Councilmember James Gennaro's stormwater management plan, aimed at ending basement floodings following heavy rain- and snow falls in various parts of the city, including Queens.
Gennaro's Stormwater Mgt. Plan Hailed By Environmentalists
When signed into law, the Gennaro legislation will require the city to draft a sustainable stormwater management plan by October 1 of this year.
Currently, heavy rains flood local streets, creating small lakes which render streets and highways impassable. Overflow runs into nearby homes, causing often irremediable damage.
Gennaro said another byproduct of the huge floods is the causing of 27 billion gallons of untreated sewage and storm water to be discharged into the city's waters in a typical year.
One result of these combined sewer overflows is the dumping of hazardous pathogens into the city's water bodies, posing a danger to public health, harming ecology and making local water bodies unsuitable for recreational activities.
The stormwater management plan, as outlined in Gennaro's legislation, relies heavily upon source control measures- capturing, storing and diverting stormwater before it reaches streets and sewers in the first place, Gennaro said.
Some of the progressive techniques of collecting the water include water barrels on "blue roofs" and underground cisterns to capture and store rainwater, encouraging green roofs, green streets and green walls, all of which use soil and vegetation to absorb rainwater, and installing high-level storm sewers that separate stormwater from sanitary waste.
Photo from Queens Gazette