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Kingston Library Rain Garden


image of kingston library with the rain garden in the foreground. there is a group of people in the parking lot between the garden and the building

The Kingston Library undertook a capital project to improve environmental and site conditions. Faced with a badly deteriorated parking lot, one objective was to resurface the parking lot with new pavement. In doing this, the Library faced other challenges.

The roof leaders on the building were connected to the City of Kingston sanitary sewer system, which carried the roof runoff to the Kingston Wastewater Treatment Facility and contributed to combined sewer overflows into the Rondout Creek (from the Wilber Avenue Diversion Chamber). The library chose to disconnect the roof leaders from the sanitary sewer system in order to comply with the law and to assist the City of Kingston in its efforts to remove stormwater from the sanitary system. This led to the reduction of 400,000 gallons per year of rainwater entering the sanitary sewer system; no rainwater from the Library roof now enters the sanitary sewer system.

close up of a pipe that is part of the kingston library's stormwater management system

Another challenge was to treat and reduce the flow of stormwater from the site. The stormwater sewer system discharges to the Twaafskill Creek, a tributary of the Rondout. The Library achieved these goals in three ways:

  • Reducing the amount of impervious surfaces (pavement) on the site by 5,000 sq. ft. This occurred in the southeast corner of the site.
  • Installing a rain garden in the southeast corner to treat and filter 288,000 gallons per year of stormwater from a portion of the roof and south parking paved area (9,600 sq.ft.) before discharging to the City storm system.
  • Installing a stormwater exfiltration system in the northwest corner of the site to treat and infiltrate 560,000 gallons per year of filtered storm water from the north parking area and roof (18,600 sq. ft.) into groundwater instead of the City storm system.

Site Location

  • Site Name: Kingston Library
  • Address: 55 Franklin Street, Kingston, New York
  • Owner: Kingston Library
  • County: Ulster
  • Watershed: Lower Esopus Creek, but in the Rondout Creek sewershed
  • Land use of site: Public
  • Can this site be visited? Yes
  • Location on site: Rain garden at corner of Franklin and Prospect, exfiltration system at corner of Liberty and Furnace

Practice Details

  • Intent of design: Disconnect roof leaders from sanitary sewer system, handle stormwater from roof and parking lot on site with overflow handled by separate stormwater sewer
  • Size of structure/capacity: Rain Garden: 38 feet long, 36 feet wide, and 32 inches deep (media depth 20 inches and 12 inch deep flooding zone above the media).
    Annual runoff to Rain Garden: 288,000 gallons
    Exfiltration System: two dry wells 6 feet high by 8 feet diameter
    Annual runoff to Exfiltration System: 560,000 gallons
  • Size of drainage area: Rain Garden: 9600 sq. ft. (roof and pavement)
    Exfiltration System: 18,600 sq. ft. (roof and pavement)
  • Plants or materials used: For rain garden: cinnamon fern, New York aster, wild geranium, button bush and switch grass. Garden beds adjacent to paved areas: established trees, shrubs and perennials.
  • Maintenance: Routine checking of vegetation
  • Maintained by: Library staff

Design/Installation Information

  • Design: Brinnier and Larios Engineers, Kingston NY. Original concept designs by Hudson Valley Regional Council Green Infrastructure Planning Project, funded by NYSDEC.
  • Installation: Consorti Bros. Paving and Sealcoating, Inc. Newburgh, NY
  • Date of installation: June and July 2012
  • Zoning change or special permit required: No
  • Project cost: Entire project: $ 127,779
    Rain garden: $9,000
    Exfiltration system: $14,000
    Paving and piping: $104,779
  • Form of payment: Library capital bond ($67,304), Public Library Construction Grant Program ($30,475), Community Development Block Grant - Kingston Office of Community Development ($30,000)

For Additional Site Information:

Contact: Margie Menard, Kingston Library Director
Phone: (845) 339-4260

Contact: Emilie Hauser, Kingston Library Operations Committee