Coping With Increased Impervious Surfaces

Stormwater floods and pollution have wreaked havoc on Rye’s quality of life and economic well being over the past few years. Most of our remediation efforts have focused on solving the upstream factors involved in flooding – looking for the “big fix”.

Published November 17, 2011 9:11 PM
2 min read

0:00

Stormwater floods and pollution have wreaked havoc on Rye’s quality of life and economic well being over the past few years. Most of our remediation efforts have focused on solving the upstream factors involved in flooding – looking for the “big fix”.

 

By Bill Lawyer

 

Stormwater floods and pollution have wreaked havoc on Rye’s quality of life and economic well being over the past few years. Most of our remediation efforts have focused on solving the upstream factors involved in flooding – looking for the “big fix”.

Meanwhile, contractors come to the Engineering and Building Department offices at City Hall every day with proposed construction projects. Each new addition to a site’s footprint puts more of a strain on the property’s ability to handle the surface water.  

 

That’s why the City Council has been focusing more on the “little fix”. They recently passed a resolution directing all departments, boards, committees, and commissions to take “additional scrutiny in reviewing land-use applications and variances with a greater sensitivity to stormwater impacts.”

 

It’s up to the City’s engineering staff to determine if the project designs and materials can do the job. At present, that’s City Engineer Chris Tallarini and retired City Engineer George Mottarella, who comes in one day a week. At any given time there are about 70-80 active projects going on that require their attention.  

 

The legal requirement (City Code chapter 173.2-amended 12-12-2007) is that there must be no increase in the amount of surface water leaving the construction site during and after the construction project. As with most laws, the devil’s in the details. For every surface water regulation, there are exceptions (some call them loopholes).  

 

Here’s one example: “When the City Engineer finds that the increase [in surface water caused by a project] cannot be offset by on-site retention, he may permit the increment of the increase which cannot be retained to be carried away by the land’s natural drainage, provided that the increased rate and quantity of flow will not impair the permitted use or development of those lands over which such water will naturally flow.”

 

Even if all the required components of the permit are followed to the letter of the law, it’s a complicated task. And the effectiveness can’t really be known until Mother Nature brings us a test. Think Tropical Storm Irene.  

 

Due to the complexity of the regulations, contractors are, for all practical purposes, required to hire a specially trained and qualified engineering firm to custom design surface water and soil retention systems for each project.  

 

Regrettably, few owners or contractors come forward with plans that don’t increase the amount of impervious surface.

 

We need to find creative ways to do more with less, or more with the same. Take a page from Eric Corey Freed, the author of “Green Building and Remodeling For Dummies”, who has been propounding that view for years.

 

So while the community continues to focus more attention on the little fix, things would be simpler if we could strive to follow the maxim, “If it ain’t impervious, you don’t have to fix it.”

Filed Under:
Subscribe and get freshly baked articles. Join the community!
Begin typing your search above and press return to search. Press Esc to cancel.

rajbet app

rajbet india

lottoland asia

lottoland india

dafabet login

dafabet app

4rabet login

khelo24bet login

rummy gold

rummy glee

teen patti

teen patti gold

teen patti joy

teen patti master

rummy modern

andar bahar

dafabet

bonus new member

gullybet

IPLWin

IPLWin

tk88

tk88

thienhabet

thienhabet

Dbbet

Nagad88

Babu88

Six6s

Bhaggo

Elonbet