Niagara Gazette


September 26, 2013

Lewiston officials trying to deal with water issues in Riverwalk subdivision

Niagara Gazette — Sometimes the best envisioned plans never come to fruition. One in Lewiston has left residents of the Lewiston Riverwalk housing community with more questions than answers.

After proposing a plan to eliminate a large standing water "pond" that's caused both public health and property damage concerns since the development was approved, Lewiston officials have done an about-face on promises of relief.

"That subdivision is so screwed up," Supervisor Steve Reiter said of the relief project. "The trapped water doesn't flow naturally. It is not an easy fix and the cost kept going up."

Originally, town engineer Ryan Smith proposed a plan building drainage from the pond to a nearby Niagara County stormwater sewer line across River Road from the development. But Smith said the land was "not conducive" for the project, which relied on gravity to move the water.

Instead, he's offered residents an alternative which he said will take a green approach to not only fixing the standing water problem but also lessen the potential for flooded basements and destruction.

Smith is asking the town board to consider installing a rain garden, which, combined with some drainage relief through filling and grading, would control the water level of the land, which sits near a wetland in the area of Pletcher and River roads in the northwest portion of town.

"Coupled together, it's designed to lessen the degree of flooding," Smith said. "Typically, these gardens have a drain, but because the land isn't conducive to gravity systems, we'd likely need to consider using a pump to direct runoff away from residents."

Hearing Smith's explanation of the latest plan the town has to fix the persistent problem, a handful of residents gathered at the Monday town board meeting said the rain garden idea is simply a "bandage on a dam."

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