The Save the Rain Program: 230 Completed Green Infrastructure Projects in 10 Years Operations and Maintenance Lessons Learned and Success Stories
Date & Time
Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Since January 1999, Onondaga County, New York has complied with an Amended Consent Judgment (ACJ) which includes control of combined sewer overflows (CSO) to the tributaries of Onondaga Lake. In November 2009, the ACJ was amended to incorporate green infrastructure (GI) strategies to further reduce wet weather from entering the combined sewer system (CSS). This is the first court order in the country to require the use of green, and the new program was entitled Save the Rain. Since 2009, Onondaga County has constructed over 230 green infrastructure projects on a fast track basis including a wide range of GI technologies. These projects capture over 190 million gallons of stormwater annually. Combined with gray infrastructure, the County has achieved 97.9% CSO capture or elimination compared to pre-ACJ conditions to date. The presentation will focus on the operations and maintenance lessons learned and success stories from the construction of over 230 GI projects to date. Case studies from specific projects will be provided and the following key topics will be covered: • An overview of the Save the Rain projects constructed to date including the various GI technologies utilized (porous pavements, bioretention, green roofs, infiltration practices, enhanced tree planters, etc.) • Survivability of plant species in a harsh urban setting and a northern climate • Design modifications over the course of the Program in consideration of the long-term operability and maintainability of the green infrastructure • General and winter operations and maintenance lessons learned from in-house, contractor, and volunteer efforts for planted and hardscape green stormwater infrastructure practices • Long-term monitoring results for green stormwater infrastructure practices and utilizing findings to inform future projects