Communities across Nassau County are releasing lengthy, state-mandated reports detailing officials’ eco-friendly efforts to keep storm water clean.
North Hempstead, Great Neck Plaza and Floral Park have released their 2017 Stormwater Management Report. Other communities, including the Village of Roslyn and the Town of Hempstead, plan to finalize and release their reports this week.
In Great Neck Plaza, the village cleaned and inspected 85 catch basins, swept 630 acres of parking lot space and 900 miles of streets between March 2016 and March 2017. Clearing those spaces allowed rain water to move quickly through storm drains, village officials said.
“We want to ensure that the village stays clean and stuff doesn’t get into the storm drains,” said Mayor Jean Celender. “Our sweeper gets a lot of usage.”
Celender said another way the village tries to keep water clean is by telling residents not to feed water fowl like geese.
“If you put out items for them to eat, they congregate there,” she said. “And you don’t want them to because then their feces are not something we want to have. That gets on the grass and, if it rains, it leeches into the soil and then into the ground water.”
Municipalities work to keep storm water clean because it is the same water residents will eventually drink, use to bathe, swim in or fish from, said Kyle Thomas, an engineer in Syracuse who specializes in making eco-friendly storm-water systems for urban areas. The key to good storm-water management, Thomas said, is allowing water to reach grasslands as soon as possible so that soil and native plant life can naturally purify the water.
In North Hempstead, the town has cleaned and inspected 554 catch basins and swept 8,123 miles of streets. In Floral Park, the village has cleaned and inspected 325 catch basins and swept 1,810 miles of streets.
Floral Park and Great Neck Plaza are two of many Long Island communities with their own storm-water systems, which ultimately feed into a larger Nassau County-operated system. To continue using the county system, municipalities must submit storm-water reports to the state by May 31.