Mirror Lake, a year-round tourist destination comprises ten percent of the total size of the Village of Lake Placid.
For area residents, the lake is far more than a recreational resource; it is also a major contributor to the local economy and serves as the village’s cultural centerpiece. The Village hosted the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympics. Recognizing the importance of protecting the ecology and beauty of Mirror Lake concerned citizens formed the Mirror Lake Watershed Association (MLWA) in 1997 and joined the New York State Federation of Lakes Association (FOLA). Shortly after, they applied for and received a grant to create the Mirror Lake Stormwater Action Plan.
A key portion of the plan focuses on urban runoff, stating that “stormwater management is a key component to preserving the water quality of the Lake” The perfect opportunity to implement part of the plan arose when a new water and sewer line project launched along the northwestern portion of Mirror Lake Drive.
The village hired engineer Ivan Zdrahal P.E. for the project. Zdrahal was familiar with a variety of stormwater best management practices (BMPs), including the Vortechs System, a hydrodynamic separator from Contech Zdrahal learned about the system from a third party study conducted in Lake George, New York, a community with striking similarities to Mirror Lake.
The study, published in 2001 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, found that Vortechs model 11000 achieved an 88 percent reduction of aggregate load for suspended solids.
According to Zdrahal, “the shallow installation and easy maintenance were important design features when deciding to specify the Vortechs System” Installation costs remained low because of the shallow horizontal design and no on-site assembly requirements by the contractor.
Zdrahal, MLWA and village board members all agreed that the Vortechs System was the right solution for their stormwater treatment needs.