Becoming Part Of The Sponge – Adapting NYC Businesses To Soak Up The Rain
Drought marked summer for much of the USA and, in NYC at least, winter will be marked by torrential rain.
However, as Bloomberg has analyzed, the city is not set up to make the most of that. Instead of capturing and harnessing the power of rainwater, the city will likely waste most of it.
Impermeable urban spaces and excessive runoff will mean most water is lost and, worse, will cause flooding.
In order to tackle this, the city needs to become a ‘sponge’, according to Bloomberg – and that includes private business changing how it manages its water. But how?
A water retaining landscape
Storm Ida really put into focus just how poorly managed NYC infrastructure is when it comes to rainwater.
On asphalt, storm waters sluiced off into houses and properties, causing huge damage – and damage that was entirely avoidable. As the New York Times highlights, water retaining surfaces can mitigate storms to a significant degree.
That means including more vegetation and green spaces throughout the city, but also using futuristic new permeable inorganic surfaces – such as bioswales.
For businesses, there is a huge business case for creating such surfaces.
Not only does this minimize the risk of flood damage, but it promotes water retention the rest of the year round, minimizing water costs and creating healthier green areas.
Joining the cloudburst
One of the plans put into place for residential areas of NYC is the cloudburst initiative.
Put simply, this aims to collect a huge amount of water from downpours, saving it to then be released at a later date.
This prevents an overwhelming amount of water from pouring into storm areas, and helps to mitigate the storm.
This can be done by businesses too.
Invest in water butts to collect rainwater and prevent it overspilling; this can then be used in the business from everything from watering plants to providing plumbing utility.
Sorting out the plumbing
In NYC and across the country, deprecated plumbing systems are causing huge water losses. According to the EPA, a simply leaky toilet will create 21,600 gallons of water loss per month, or $2,100 in costs per year.
An unattended hose will put out 43,200 gallons of water per month, and $4,300 per year.
Dripping pipes and cracks in plumbing will, therefore, soon add to the water problem, and cause a huge amount of monetary loss for a business.
Consider the impact of NYCs 8 million plus people and all of their households and businesses together; it puts a significant strain on the drainage system and makes it harder for the city to deal with storms when they come.
Addressing commercial plumbing issues will ease that burden, and save a lot of money.
Commercial properties need to go a little further than what the city demands in order to meet the challenge of ever worsening storms.
Doing an extra bit will help the city all the more – and help preserve the business’ bottom line.