Watervliet Route 32 Green Infrastructure Project

Last winter, construction was completed on the City of Watervliet’s Route 32 Green Infrastructure Project. This project was designed to reduce stormwater runoff that contributes to Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) into the Hudson River . Thus, the project will improve water quality and have aesthetic benefits. The Route 32 project is one among many projects that are part of the Albany Pool Communities CSO Long Term Control Plan, a collaborative effort involving the Cities of Albany, Cohoes, Rensselaer, Troy, Watervliet and the Village of Green Island, to abate CSO discharges and  improve water quality in the Hudson River.

Combined Sewer Systems

Combined sewer systems (CSS) are designed to collect storm water runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe and bring it to the publicly owned treatment works (POTW) facilities.

During precipitation, when stormwater enters the sewer, the capacity of the sewer system can be exceeded and effluent may be discharged directly to a water body (rivers, streams, estuaries, and coastal waters). This is refered to as a Combined Sewer Overflow discharge. More info on CSO discharges can be found here. A CSO discharge is a permitted activity covered under the NYSDEC State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES).

Greening the Streets of Watervliet

The Watervliet Route 32 Green Infrastructure Project used a variety of green infrastructure techniques to achieve a significant stormwater runoff reduction. Green infrastructure practices restore the permeability of the ground. When natural ground cover is replaced with impermeable surfaces, such as pavement, stormwater is directed into the CSS where it may contribute to a permitted CSO discharge. By incorporating GI practices, permeability is restored resulting in more stormwater being absorbed into the ground and kept out of the CSS. The Watervliet project used a variety of GI practices including porous pavement, a rain garden, infiltration galleries and roadside bioretention units. Not only do these practices help to improve water quality, they also provide aesthetic enhancements to the surrounding neighborhood. Through the completion of this project approximately 3/4 of a mile of Route 32 was improved.

Click here for more specific information on design specifications for the Watervliet green infrastructure project.

Check out some photos below: