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Buffalo's first porous green street

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo's first porous green street was unveiled Monday. 

Mayor Byron Brown used a fire hose to demonstrate how the new porous pavement reduces the amount of water run-off going into the city's storm sewers.  It is part of a pilot project in the city.

Water flowed from a hose hooked to a fire hydrant on Claredon Place off Forest Avenue, but the pavement was soaking it up instead of quickly flowing into a nearby sewer grate. 

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
Mayor Brown demonstrates new porous street in Buffalo

"You can see from that test it's a great success. It is working perfectly, like it was designed to work," said Mayor Brown.

Claredon is one the first streets in the city to receive the new pervious pavement, reducing the amount of water that would normally run off and flow into the city sewers. 

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is working with the city and Sewer Authority. 

"Riverkeeper has been working on water quality problems for nearly two decades," said director Jill Jedlika, executive director of Riverkeeper.  

Jedlika said this project is a major step toward resolving Buffalo’s greatest water quality problem which is raw sewage overflows into our waterways.

"This project not only benefits the neighborhood and the community which you are in, but this flows directly into Scajaquada Creek," Jedlika. "Improving water quality, esthetics, odors -- everything within Scajaquada."

"It's astounding.  It's amazing how well it works," said Mike Snider, a Claredon Place resident.  Snider says he is pleased with the storm water project and confident it will spare the runoff below the surface. 

"You're dealing with systems that are a century old being able to come in like this and using modern technics to address a problem like this is a great approach," said Snider.

Pamela Strickland also lives on Claredon Place.  She said  it took a little over two months to complete the project.

"It's really cool and the kids love it," said Strickland.

Rain gardens are also being designed on Windsor and Parkdale Avenues, as well as storm water planters in Elmwood Avenue's business district.   The mayor is pledging that there will be more pervious pavement streets, rain gardens and disconnects of down spouts.