NY Landscape and Property Management around Lake George/Adirondack Region

June 7, 2013

Boat House Cottage- Stormwater Design, Septic System Design and Landscape Installation- The Complete Package

We had the unique opportunity to work on a property that we have been involved with for over a decade. With the new construction work for an addition being completed, there was an opportunity to correct many existing problems. It started with Anthony DeFranco, PE designing (2) new rain gardens for capturing and treating all of the stormwater runoff from the existing house along with the addition per the Town of Hague Planning Board’s request.

The rain gardens were shaped into the existing contours of the site to minimize disruption to the banks above Lake George. The rain gardens were constructed and planted by DeFranco Landscaping’s green infrastructure crew. New gutters and roof leaders were installed to collect and convey stormwater to the rain gardens.


Rain Garden Installation

During the construction work on the addition, the residents were experiencing problems with their existing pressurized wastewater treatment system. Anthony DeFranco, PE and Bruce Geraw of OK Sanitary did some exploritory work on the alarm system and realized that the pumps were not pumping a large volume of leachate up to the leachfield. It was determined through an excavation that the 1-inch pressure line’s 1/4-inch holes had been clogged. Anthony DeFranco, PE re-designed the system with a new leach field configuration along with increasing the size and capacity of the duplex pumps.

OK Sanitary replaced the leach field with new piping and (2) new 1-horsepower pumps were installed in the pump chamber to better serve the system’s head requirements. Trees were cleared around the perimeter of the leach field to allow more sunlight in and provide better evapo-transpiration. The leach field was hydroseeded after the construction.

August 26, 2012

Annual Stormwater Managment Maintenance is a Must

A large commercial retailer in Ticonderoga had a bank slide into their stormwater basin and had contacted DeFranco Landscaping for their expertise on how to solve the problem and minimize the chance of it happening again. A 100-foot long steep bank had slid into the large basin. It appears that the slide was most likely due to hydrostatic pressure on the clay soils and shallow bedrock outcroppings which allowed the groundwater to weep right under the clay and eventually making the small amount of soil above the rock to become unstable. When the bank slid, it took the perimeter chain-link fence along with it.

Stormwater Basin's Re-stabilized upgradient bank

It is critical for any designer to consider long-term maintenance on any of their stormwater measures. This site had an access gate to the main basin, but had very limited access around the perimeter for large trucks and excavating equipment. A temporary access road had to be cut into the bank and due to the stability issues-smaller 1-ton dump trucks were used to haul the material out of the basin location.

Spoil material was removed from the basin and hauled to a flat location on-site, dumped, spread, seeded and mulched in a timely manner per the current NYSDEC stormwater guidelines.

DeFranco Landscaping provided the client with a few different options on how to stabilize the bank. The selected option removed the soil material that had slid into the basin and tapering of the upgradient bank’s slope to help alleviate the soil pressure around the basin’s side slopes. After the material was removed, the area was raked smooth and seeded with a grass seed. Erosion control blankets were installed per the manufacturer’s instructions to help stabilize the banks from sliding again and then the damaged chainlink fence was replaced. Hydroseeding wasn’t used in this option, but was provided as another option.

View of the side slope of the re-stabilized bank

There are many stormwater regulations that a commercial property owner needs to be aware of. They must comply with various maintenance requirements depending on the type of stormwater management system that they have on their site. Many of these stormwater management systems require annual inspection and maintenance that needs to be properly documented so that they are in compliance with the latest regulations.

Feel free to contact DeFranco Landscaping about your stormwater needs on your site or current project. Anthony DeFranco, PE, CNLP would be happy to provide you with design guidance to keep your project on track, keep you up-to-date on the current stormwater regulations or provide you with services and/or products that have been used on previously successful projects.

Remember that stormwater is one of the most critical aspects of any construction project within the Lake George basin-whether you are a contractor, realtor or home owner- you will want to work with a company that has a solid reputation and expertise to handle your stormwater projects. With the combination of Anthony DeFranco, PE-Consulting Engineer and DeFranco Landscaping, stormwater projects are handled from the Design and Permitting phase to the Installation/Construction phase. We can also handle your long-term Operation & Maintenance needs of your stormwater management basins/structures.



July 31, 2012

Hague Veteran’s Memorial Park- One Year Later

We wanted to post a few more pictures of the Hague Veteran’s Memorial Park, 1-year after the project was completed so viewers can see how well the site looks.


Hague Veteran's Memorial Park

Hague Veterns' Memorial

Wild flowers and vegetation were established on the steep banks in the background that had previously experienced erosion problems prior to DeFranco Landscaping’s hydroseeding and stabilizing the banks with the placement of erosion control blankets.

May 28, 2012

DeFranco Landscaping Attends the LGA Lake Friendly Living Open House

The Lake George Association’s 2nd Annual Lake-Friendly Living Open House was held on Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 at the LGA’s office at 2392 Route 9N in Lake George, NY.  The show highlighted local businesses that are experts on lake-friendly living.

Anthony DeFranco, PE and Mark Altwerger attended the event for DeFranco Landscaping with varying lake expertise & experiences. Altwerger has worked for the LGA as a lake steward. DeFranco is a professional engineer who has also worked for the Darrin Freshwater Institute. They provided attendees with information on various products and services for their lake-friendly projects while discussing the latest regulations related to site design, stormwater management and septic systems and the benefits of shoreline buffers.

The combination of Anthony DeFranco, PE-Consulting Engineer and the green infrastructure expertise of DeFranco Landscaping gives a home owner the “complete package” when it comes to lake-friendly living. DeFranco Landscaping specializes in rain garden installation, stormwater management, hydroseeding/erosion control, shoreline buffers with native plantings  and permeable pavers.

(Left to Right) Betty Spinelli, Joe Stanik (Lake George Park Commissioner), Mark Altwerger and Anthony DeFranco, PE discuss the benefits of stormwater management at the 2nd Annual Lake-Friendly Living Showcase.

DeFranco Landscaping received the 2010 Frank Leonbruno Lake Stewardship Award for their use of native plants in their designs.  Anthony DeFranco, PE-Consulting Engineer is a licensed NYS professional engineer who has designed numerous rain gardens and stormwater management structures around the Lake George basin. Rain garden design is not rocket science but it does take someone who is very familar with stormwater design to properly design a functioning rain garden to the NYSDEC guidelines.  A professional engineer is required to design and “stamp” the plans of any stormwater management system for new construction and modificiations to a site/additions to a house.

DeFranco Landscaping has installed many of his designs along with native plant shoreline buffers and screenings. DeFranco Landscaping is in the process of also completing a stream restoration project in the Town of Hague. Permitting and design was completed by Anthony DeFranco, PE and the installation was tackled by Dave and Tony’s crew.

DeFranco started a civil engineering practice: Anthony DeFranco, PE –Consulting Engineer to complement his family’s landscaping and property management business. He has designed numerous engineered wastewater systems, including Pura-Flo Peat Fiber Biofilter Systems, which are an enhanced on-site wastewater treatment system (OWTS) that provides a 96% reduction in B.O.D, 99.9% reduction in fecal coliform and 90% reduction in ammonia and nitrogen to the leachate before it enters the ground. Enhanced treatment systems require additional operational maintenance, typically annual inspections that can be provided by the manufacturer of the system. A licensed engineer is required to design enhanced wastewater treatment systems. They are ideal for houses located near a body of water with limited space.

“There are a lot of opportunities for us to provide expertise to homeowners and contractors around the Lake George basin. Property owners need to be aware that a roadside ditch or drainage swale along your property can convey pollutants from your driveway or lawn into Lake George.” states DeFranco. Studies have shown that ½-inch to 1 ½-inch rain events, called
water quality events, cause more damage by carrying off pollutants from impervious and lawn areas. Anthony DeFranco, PE-Consulting Engineer has also designed numerous engineered septic systems in the Lake George basin, including Pura-Flo Peat systems, Eljen systems and raised mound systems. He can handle most site design projects from permitting, design to construction inspection.

Please feel free to contact us, if you were unable to attend and have a project in mind.

September 6, 2011

DeFranco Landscaping: 1 Hurricane Irene: 0

Last week, many areas within the Adirondacks, Capital Region and Vermont were severely punished by Hurricane Irene’s heavy rainfall and high winds which also resulted in flooding of many streams and rivers.

Our recently constructed  driveway, stormwatwer swales and basins were able to easily withstand the punishing rain from Hurricane Irene last week. There were no wash-outs in the new driveway! This driveway had previously been experiencing significicant wash-outs from runoff from NYS Route 9N.

The drainage patterns were corrected during the project to re-direct the runoff to approriate drainge swales to convey runoff to new stormwater basins where it is contained on-site.

Driveway after Hurricane Irene

We were very pleased with the outcome. Take that Hurricane Irene.

August 16, 2011

Hydroseeding is a Great Way to Stop Erosion

Erosion Control is probably one of the most critical aspects of every construction site where earthwork or material is being moved around. It is so important when working near a body of water to establish vegetation on steep slopes or areas around the construction site to prevent sediment and silt from entering a body of water and being conveyed downstream. The NYSDEC has guidelines for stabilization on construction sites especially if a stormwater permit has been issued for a site . Typically an area that is not going to be disturbed for 14-days, should be mulched and seeded to help prevent material from leaving a construction site.

A site in Hague, NY that hydroseeding was used in conjunction with erosion control mats/fabric

Hydroseeding with a grass seed mix can quickly help establish vegetation to prevent or minimize runoff and erosion from occurring. There are numerous techniques that we apply in different situations. No one site is identical, so you may have to apply multiply erosion control measures to help reduce the chance of erosion. Steep slopes that are 1:2 or greater may require additional design measures to prevent erosion from happening.

It is a good idea to talk to a licensed consultant, with expertise in stormwater and erosion control measures, to develop a plan that can be implemented. This happens to be the 2nd attempt at stabilizing this bank. (It’s our 1st attempt and we had been caught by a suprise thunderstorm during the installation and the temporary solution held-up while we waited out the storm to implement the final measures.)

Anthony W. DeFranco, PE-Consulting Engineer can provide a site visit/consultation should your site need erosion control measures. He can be reached at 518-791-9816 or [email protected]

Frank Fontana of DeFranco Landscaping inspects the recently installed erosion control mats



August 13, 2011

Pura-Flo Septic System Design and Native Plant Landscaping

Designed by Anthony W. DeFranco, PE

Pura-Flo Septic System

An alternative engineered septic system was recently installed at John & Virginia Geils in Hague, NY. Their existing system was leaking near the shoreline of Lake George. The Pura-Flo Septic System was designed by Anthony W. DeFranco, PE-Consulting Engineer. A variance was required from the Town of Hague to place the system within the 100-foot setback to the lakeshore due to soil limitations and an existing well. 

A four-modular system was installed for the 4-bedroom house by Bruce Geraw of O.K. Santiary Service in Ticonderoga in late June. The system up and running before the July 4th deadline. The system has duplex pumps and high level alarms.

After the system was started-up,  DeFranco Landscaping returned to replant the numerous transplanted shrubs and perennials around the perimeter of the septic system to shield the system from the house. The upgradient banks were hydroseeded with a native NY wild flower & meadow mix along with placing a layer of erosion control fabric on the bank to prevent potential erosion. “We have had great success with our hydroseeder. We have experimented with a few different mixs and can apply almost anytime in the season to get good coverage and fast seed germination” notes DeFranco.
Pura Flo Systems are ideal around bodies of water such as Lake George and remove 99.99% BOD from the septic waste. For more information on alternative septic system design and the regulations related to the Lake George basin and the APA, please contact Anthony DeFranco at 518-791-9816 or via e-mail at [email protected]
The Lake George Association also has landscape planting recommendations around leachfields. Anthony DeFranco, PE would caution any property owner about planting any plants within a leach field or in the general vicinity of the leach field without talking with a Professional Engineer and a representative of the engineered septic system manufacturer. 
DeFranco notes “Some manufacturer’s will not warranty their system with landscaping around their modules. You should always check this out before planting in a leachfield. Some plants have deep roots and should never be planted in close proximity of a leach field. You do not want to jeapordize the integrity of your leach field. The cost to repair can easily be in the thousands of dollars if not more.”  

Pura-Flo Septic System Leachfield with banks hydroseeded and protected with erosion control fabric


August 13, 2011

Another Green Infrastructure Project Completed

DeFranco Landscaping recently completed a landscaping project in the Town of Lake George that required to installation of permeable pavers to minimize stormwater runoff for additional length of impervious driveway and a new rain garden/ stream bank buffer. The rain garden was installed per NYSDEC guidelines for the new sotrmwater regulations along with the use of native plants for vegetation.

Permeable Paver Installation

The lawn was hydroseeded which helped expedite seed germination. Grass was starting to show after about 5-days from hydroseed spraying. Erosion control measures were installed along the project perimeter to help minimize sediment from entering the stream that flows into Lake George. For more information on this project or any similar projects, please contact us at 518-543-6089 or [email protected]. We would be happy to provide our expertise to other design consultants and potential clients with a site consultation with similar projects. Follow us on Facebook for other interesting projects and ideas.

Rain Garden with Native Plants


July 28, 2011

Stormwater Management Swales & Infiltration Basins

DeFranco Landscaping recently completed a stormwater management project in Hague, which included the installation of armored rip-rap swales and infiltration basins to meet the requirements of the Lake George Park Commission. The project had a very tight deadline based on a potential enforcement action.

Stormwater Basin-DeFranco Landscaping

July 28, 2011

DeFranco Landscaping completes landscaping at Hague Veteran’s Park

DeFranco Landscaping recently completed the landscape installation work at the Town of Hague Veteran’s Park. The design of the park was completed by Elan Planning, Landscape Design.

The scope of the work included weeding and removing the vegetation on a very steep bank that between Overbrook Road and Hague Brook. A prior attempt to stabilize the banks was not as successful and had washed out with deep erosion channelling down the banks. The banks had also been topdressed with a soil containing Japanese Knotweed, an invasive plant.

DeFranco Landscaping

DeFranco Landscaping -Town of Hague

DeFranco Landscaping attempted to properly remove the Japanese Knotweed from the site by weeding by hand. The banks were then hydroseeded with a NY native wild flower mix along with placing an erosion control fabric over the area to help stabilize the bank. The lower part of the slope was planted with myrtle, Vinca minor.

The park area was prepped for lawn and sodded  with a blend of kentucky blue grass sod.

Feel free to contact DeFranco Landscaping about your erosion control or stormwater projects. Their crews have a certified Erosion & Sediment Control (E&SC) trained personnel on staff and in conjunction with a licensed NYS professional engineer, Anthony W. DeFranco, PE-Consulting Engineer they can provide you with the necessary design guidance and recommendations to make your project a success.

DeFranco Landscaping

DeFranco Landscaping - Town of Hague

Memberships & Affiliations:

>> NY State Nurseryman's Association
>> NYS Adopt-A-Highway Participant
>> Hague / Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce
>> CNLP: Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional
>> Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce
>> ICPI Certification
>> Bolton Landing Chamber of Commerce
>> Member of the Lake George Association
>> GlensFalls.com
>> Planting What Comes Naturally
>> The DeFrancos of Hague-Sustainable Landscapes & Green Infrastructure


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DeFranco Landscaping Inc. - Landscaping and Property Management Lake George/Adirondack RegionDeFranco Landscaping Inc. :: Phone: 518.543.6089
Mailing Addess: 244 Dodd Hill Road, Hague, NY 12836
Display / Material Loading Site: 110 NYS Route 9N in Ticonderoga, NY
(Appointments should be scheduled in advance)

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