Polluted stormwater is the largest threat to Lake George’s water quality, and the main reason for slight water quality changes in recent decades. One way to stop that decline is to capture polluted stormwater throughout the Lake George watershed before it reaches the Lake, and infiltrate it into the ground to be naturally cleaned.
Doing these types of projects – that capture and infiltrate polluted stormwater – is what the Lake George Association means when we say that we perform direct, actual Lake protection.
Thanks to an $18,446 grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, LGA Project Manager Randy Rath has been leading the charge to test a unique product, precast porous concrete panels. That product, when installed, captures polluted stormwater, and is now being used in two separate locations at the head of the Lake to keep that pollution out of the water.
The LGA contributed an additional $5,380 to complete the purchase of enough product to use in Shepard Park in the Village of Lake George and Usher Park in the Town of Lake George – money that came directly from our 2,000+ members.
“The precast porous concrete panels – which we bought from Stormcrete and have now installed in two different locations – can make all the difference in preventing polluted stormwater flow,” said Randy. “Polluted stormwater flows over regular concrete or pavement blocks, capturing harmful nutrients, oils, salts, soils and bacteria on the surface of the concrete or pavement, and carries it all into the Lake.”
“The porous panels are managing the polluted stormwater the same way the porous pavement on Beach Road manages it – allowing the pollution to flow into the product and infiltrate through the rock underneath and into the soils below to be naturally filtered,” Randy said.
The newest location for the work was Usher Park in the Town of Lake George.
Working with Morrissey Construction and with in-kind work from the Town of Lake George’s Buildings and Grounds and Highways crews, 45 linear feet of walkway was installed (the panels are four feet wide by five feet long).
The location has long had a problem handling any amount of stormwater, eroding the area at the top of the steep property that leads down to Front Street and to the Lake.
It took less than a day to complete, and proved its effectiveness during the recent Tropical Storm Isaias deluge. The storm dropped more than 3 inches of rain on the watershed, but photos and video taken during the storm (as seen in the video presentation above) show the porous concrete prevented everything that flowed on top of it from going very far.
The manufacturer says the panels are able to infiltrate more than 200 inches per hour of flow.
“The porous concrete panels are doing really well,” said Jim Martino, head of the Town of Lake George’s Building and Grounds Department.
“It’s a great product and I can’t wait to install some more,” he said.
We’re pleased to report that its another water quality protection project that is installed and functioning effectively – and maybe even a little better than expected.
Incidentally, the LGA has solved a number of water quality problems in other areas of Usher Park over the years. In 2013, the LGA installed a rain garden to capture stormwater at the foot of the hill above the beach, and added native plants to the hillside to retain the soil and protect against erosion of the steep property. In 2015, the LGA performed a project on the lower part of Usher Park to capture and redirect the polluted stormwater that was flowing off Front Street and directly down a paved path, overwhelming the one dry well structure on the property.
More dry wells were added, stopping the erosion on the beach. The dry wells have captured and infiltrated thousands of gallons of polluted stormwater.
The more polluted stormwater that everyone can capture and prevent from reaching the Lake, the better off the general water quality will be. And water quality protection is job No. 1 for the Lake George Association.
For more information, please call (518) 668-3558 or see the wealth of information on our updated website at http://www.LakeGeorgeAssociation.org
The Lake George Association is the oldest and most experienced lake protection organization in the country, whose members support water quality protection, water quality monitoring, education and lake-friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.
All the money raised by the Lake George Association goes to projects and programs that benefit the Lake and the watershed, protecting Lake George water quality now and in the future.