Before urban development, most ground-water recharge on Long Island, New York, occurred during the dormant season, when evapotranspiration is low. The use of recharge basins for collection and disposal of urban storm runoff in Nassau County has enabled ground-water recharge to occur also during the growing season. In contrast, the use of storm sewers to route storm runoff to streams and coastal waters has resulted in a decrease in ground-water recharge during the dormant season. The net result of these two forms of urban storm-runoff control has been an increase in annual recharge of about 12 percent in areas served by recharge basins and a decrease of about 10 percent in areas where storm runoff is routed to streams and tidewater. On a countywide basis, annual ground-water recharge has remained nearly the same as under predevelopment conditions, but its distribution pattern has changed. Redistribution resulted in increased recharge in the eastern and central parts of the county, and decreased recharge in the western and nearshore areas. Model simulation of recharge indicates that the water-table altitude has increased by as much as 5 ft above predevelopment levels in areas served by recharge basins and declined by as much as 3 feet in areas where stormwater is discharged to streams and tidewater.
Additional publication details
Effects of urban storm-runoff control on ground-water recharge in Nassau County, New York