Flooding issues subsiding

GLOVERSVILLE — Efforts between city officials and engineers at Nathan Littauer Hospital to address a longstanding issue of stormwater runoff from the hospital’s main entrance being discharged into surrounding residential neighborhoods have reportedly begun paying off.

The city became involved in trying to resolve the issue after a neighboring property owner in August appeared before the Common Council urging the city to step in to find a solution for the flow of excess stormwater from the hospital’s East State Street entrance onto neighboring residential properties causing property damage and leaving behind pools of standing water posing a potential safety hazard.

Councilman-at-Large William Rowback Jr. provided an update to the Common Council on efforts to curb the issue during the Oct. 13 meeting, reading into the record a letter to the council from city Building Inspector David Fox.

Fox states that a notice of violation of property maintenance code for the discharge of stormwater runoff from the premises and an order to remedy was issued to the hospital on Sept. 3. Fox, Rowback and Department of Public Works Director Christopher Perry subsequently met with the hospital’s engineering staff to discuss possible methods to address the issue.

The hospital at that point agreed to clean the catch basins on the hospital property and to inspect the storm sewer system for possible causes. Fox reported that the camera inspection identified three converging culverts near the orchard parking lot on the hospital campus as the possible source of problem and contracted an excavating company to dig up the site.

The excavation uncovered a drywell, or porous chamber used to collect surface runoff and disperse it into the groundwater, that had become clogged with silt preventing water from being discharged in the proper direction.

After the culverts and impacted area were exposed, Fox stated that stormwater is now able to flow freely through the site as he observed during several storms this month. The stormwater apparently flows through a culvert under the orchard parking lot towards the new primary care center on the hospital campus to a new catch basin that was installed during construction. The water is ultimately discharged in the area of a swamp to the northeast of the primary care center as intended.

Nathan Littauer Hospital has contracted Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. — Engineering & Construction to design a permanent catch basin to service the converging culverts that can be easily accessed for cleaning on an annual basis to clear out any accumulated silt to prevent further issues with stormwater from the impacted location.

Fox noted that he has maintained constant contact with the hospital’s engineers and will keep the notice of violation open until the hospital has eliminated their contribution to the stormwater runoff.

Rowback similarly stated that he visited the hospital campus during two storms this month and observed that the system since the excavation has been able to keep up with the recently produced stormwater rates, even during a recent heavy storm.

“This is one part of it,” said Rowback, pointing to the future installation of an additional catch basis to service the impacted area as the next step. “Hopefully, this will be solved.”

By Patricia Older