Storm water quality units installed at Lake Carmel
By: Eric Gross

LAKE CARMEL - A Giant crane lifted two mammoth storm water quality units into place adjacent to Lake Carmel that officials say will vastly improve the water quality of the lake for decades to come.

Last week's installation marked the culmination of a partnering between the Town of Kent, County of Putnam and City of New York since the $750,000 project resulted from watershed monies received by the county when it signed the historic New York City watershed accord.

Jeff Contelmo of Insite Engineering Company explained the water quality unit, each costing $125,000, would filter storm water running from Barrett Hill across Route 52 prior to its discharge into the lake. Each unit can filter 16,000 gallons of water. Depending on the site conditions, the units will be cleaned of silt and sediment between a couple of times each year to once every other year.

Kent Supervisor William Tulipane called the project a "classic example of governmental partnering. This pilot is a wonderful project that will go a long way toward cleaning Lake Carmel."

Tulipane predicted that many pollutants would be removed by the technology.

Tulipane pointed to a 40-foot plume jutting out into the lake in the vicinity of the former Lake Carmel firehouse. "See that jetty? That's all sediment that came down the hill during the past 35 to 40 years. With the new technology, the land expansion will stop."

Edward Barnett, Putnam County's watershed information coordinator, said the project is being paid for by East of Hudson funds. "The hydro-dynamic separators will separate oils, floatables as well as sediment. The storm water quality units are easy to maintain. The reason that they are being installed is that Lake Carmel is a built-out community and this is a retrofit. Experts in the industry call these giant concrete units 'hi-tech catch basins.'" he said.

Putnam County received $30 million from New York City when it signed the watershed memorandum of agreement six years ago. The money is being used to improve water quality at key locations across the county.


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005