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Seneca Lake Pure Waters chooses four watershed projects

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association has once again chosen four watershed projects for funding through the Sediment, Nutrient, and Pollution Reduction program. The four projects were proposed by Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) throughout the Seneca Lake watershed late last year and are scheduled for implementation in Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2023.

The Ontario County SWCD will be working with two local landowners to design, install and maintain structural erosion control best management practices (BMPs) such as water and sediment control basins, water control structures and wetland enhancement. The projects would focus on upland water retention to reduce concentrated flows on private lands, benefiting downstream properties; the BMPs will control volume of stormwater while reducing erosion and ultimately improve water quality in Seneca Lake. The area around Armstrong Road in the Town of Geneva has experienced issues with stormwater and flooding along State Route 14.


Changes in land use practices, along with development upslope without adequate stormwater controls, have led to an increase in flooding in the area and larger volumes of water are increasing erosion. Concerns from residents and protection of public infrastructure have led this to be a priority project area for the Town of Geneva. Providing retention of stormwater will reduce flooding which in turn will limit sediment, nutrient and pollutant loading to Seneca Lake. Seneca Pure Waters’ SNPR program will fund $10,000 to this project.

The Schuyler County SWCD has been selected for two projects in the coming seasons, both working to limit erosion on bare soils, and include hydroseeding near roadways and ditches, and using cover crops on farmland within the Seneca Lake watershed. Over 200 acres of cover crops will be planted in the watershed, and over 40 acres of hydroseeding, including 10 miles of roadside ditches.

The two projects expect completion before October 2023, and will together reduce over 700 tons of sediment from entering Seneca Lake. Seneca Pure Waters has committed to funding $10,000 for each project in the Schuyler County, Seneca Lake watershed.

The Seneca County SWCD have been awarded $10,000 for their Sediment and Nutrient Reduction project, scheduled for this summer. The project will collaboratively install two water and sediment control basins (WaSCoBs) within a cash crop plot, along with underground outlet pipes that will convey excess basin water to a nearby ditch downstream. The WaSCoBs capture stormwater and allow sediment to settle out, while the underground outlet conveys water, limits overland flow and erosion and the carrying of excess nutrients to Seneca Lake. This project is expected to save approximately 100lbs of nitrogen, 45 tons of sediment, and 45lbs phosphorus annually from entering Seneca Lake.