Going Green: Saving the rain
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Welcome to the green roof of the Syracuse Center of Excellence, a prime example of Onondaga County’s Save the Rain campaign.
“Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program is really focused on storm water management, particularly in the city of Syracuse because the city of Syracuse is where we have a combined sewer overflow or CSO problem,” explains Khristopher Dodson, communications manager for the Syracuse Center of Excellence.
The CSO problem means raw sewage can end up in area waterways.
“We do a lot of green infrastructure projects and a few examples of green infrastructure projects would be green roofs, planting more trees, trees soak up water. Porous pavement so we have pavement that the rain goes through instead of running off. Rain gardens, rain barrels. The types of things that either help water soak into the ground, store water or help slow it down,” Dodson said.
Parking lots can be constructed with a porous pavement so rain and snowmelt can seep back into the ground. As you can see in the video demonstration, water runs right through the pavement.
The water that gets past the porous pavement is collected in this rain garden. And the water not captured in the rain garden is collected in storage tanks underneath the parking lot for release after the storm event is over.
“This is a program that is relevant to businesses, and in fact there’s a reimbursement program through Save the Rain called the Green Improvement Fund that’s targeted to businesses in the city of Syracuse. You want to build a green roof or put in porous pavement in your parking lot, the county will reimburse a percentage of that project to you,” Dodson says.
And it’s beginning to catch on.
Dodson says, “More and more people are beginning to recognize the Save the Rain logo, beginning to understand what the kind of wonky term green infrastructure means. Just like recycling in the 80s, more people are beginning to buy into it.”