During the summer of 2018, the City of Albany experienced several extreme rain events that caused flooding and sewer backups in several areas throughout the City. The Water Board is committed to system wide infrastructure improvements to address these decades-long problems and improve the quality of life for Albany residents.
To help reduce the chance of flooding in the short term, Albany Water Department (AWD) crews perform inspections of sewer infrastructure, clearing debris from storm drains and sewers, and increasing inlet capability to allow for better flow of water.
The department is also prioritizing locations that experienced recent flooding as areas to monitor and respond to during future rain events.
What You Can Do
Please report all flooding and backups. Call Water Dispatch at 518-434-5322. This information will help in the planning of system-wide improvements.
Install a Backwater Valve. A backwater valve will help protect against sewer backups and AWD currently offers a $2,000 reimbursement program to help with the costs of installation. All backwater valves should be inspected annually to ensure the flapper valve is intact and functional. Find out more on our Backwater Valve Reimbursement page.
Long Term Improvements
The department's upgrades to the sanitary, storm, and combined sewer system has been focused on sewer separation and flood mitigation projects. The goals of these projects are to either separate the storm water flow from the combined sewer or to provide stormwater storage and retention. Over the past five years, we have increased these efforts throughout the city, using underground detention galleries, groundwater recharge, constructed wetlands and green infrastructure.
Quail Street Green Infrastructure Project
The project was a demonstration project and is collects the first three inches of rainfall in separated storm sewers and porous pavement in the maintenance areas between sidewalks and curbs. This runoff is directed to bio-retention basins below grade, and returned to the combined sewer system once the flow in the sewer subsides.
Elberon Place CSO Abatement & Flood Mitigation Project
New stormwater catch basins and pipe have been installed to convey rainwater separate from the large diameter combined sewer overflow (CSO) pipe under Elberon Place.
Learn more on the Elberon Place CSO Abatement and Flood Mitigation Project page.
Hansen Alley Overflow Abatement & Flood Mitigation Project
Stormwater runoff is now collected in new separated storm sewer pipes and conveyed to the underground detention chamber system in left and center field of Central Babe Ruth.
Learn more on the Hansen Alley Overflow Abatement Flood Mitigation page.
Ryckman Alley Overflow Abatement & Flood Mitigation Project
Stormwater runoff will now be collected in existing separated storm sewer pipes and conveyed to the new created wetland in Woodlawn Park.
Learn more on the Ryckman Alley Overflow Abatement and Flood Mitigation page.
Beaver Creek Phase 6
Over 20 years ago the Albany Water Board initiated stormwater sewer separation around Albany High School, and at several other locations on the Beaver Creek sewer shed. This work was referred to as Beaver Creek Phases 1 through 5.
With the completion of phase 6 in 2019, the Albany School District and AWD now have over 2 million gallons of separated storm sewer controlled by real time controls.
Melrose Watershed Improvements
The Melrose-Marion-Western neighborhood has a history of flooding and sewer backups. Albany Water Department (AWD) worked with ARCADIS U.S., an engineering consulting firm, to develop a hydraulic model and flood mitigation study to identify potential solutions to address these issues.
The study focused on reducing flooding specific to high intensity, short duration storms, and to better understand the amount of stormwater storage necessary to reduce flooding and basement backups. With the storage amounts and locations identified by the model, AWD is working to develop project sites that utilize green infrastructure and underground stormwater storage in the Melrose watershed.
Learn more by viewing the Melrose Watershed Improvements Presentation (PDF) that was presented to the Melrose Neighborhood Association on June 6, 2020.
Upper Washington Corridor Waste Water Pump Station & Force Main Project
This project involves the installation of a pump station and force main to divert up to 3 million gallons per day of sewage out of the Beaver Creek trunk sewer. Expected completion is summer 2020.
Green Infrastructure projects also help in flood mitigation. Visit the Green Infrastructure page to learn more about current Green Infrastructure projects in Albany.
The Water Department will continue to plan, design, and implement projects to increase the capacity of the combined sewer system through additional system-wide sewer separation and detention/storage. Funds are dedicated in the annual capital budget and five-year Capital Improvement Plan (PDF) specifically to implement these projects as part of our commitment to flood mitigation.
Previous Grants Sought
Previously, the Department applied for grant funds through the Consolidated Funding Application program for combined sewer overflow (CSO) mitigation and flood abatement projects in the Hackett Boulevard Corridor ($8.8 million) and Sheridan Avenue/Sheridan Hollow ($5.22 million). These projects are a combination of grey and green infrastructure practices that will further mitigate flooding and related impacts to the effected neighborhoods.