Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- The puck will drop Friday night for the start of the Syracuse Crunch
’s season, as the professional hockey team takes on Binghamton on the road.
Saturday they'll be back for their home opener at the War Memorial and the ice they'll be skating on – made from rain water -- is the first of its kind in the country.
It’s all part of the county's "Save the Rain" project
to help alleviate the further pollution of Onondaga Lake. This is the first season the storm water is being used and it takes about 9,000 gallons of it to create the ice that's about an inch and a half thick.
"It's necessary to have water to make the ice and why not use rainwater than have it contribute to the problem," Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said.
It's not a system you can see, but it all happens at the War Memorial – above and below ground.
"We're catching that rainwater that comes off the roof. It's stored underground and that's the source of the water that's being used to make the ice, before it was potable water," Mahoney continued.
As much as 15 gallons of rain water can be stored underground, which will then be filtered, not necessarily for the clarity of the water, but to weed out any particles that are pulled in by the water running off of the roof.
It's a system that will be in motion constantly, as the water is used to maintain the ice.
Mahoney said, "As the rain and snow melt, we'll continue to accumulate the water. We expect this will save about 400 thousand gallons. Annually we expect this will save about 400 thousand gallons of storm water out of the system."
As far as how the rain water ice feels, it’s getting rave reviews so far.
"We're going to have the advantage because we're going to play on this ice at home all the time. Visiting teams are going to come in, so hopefully we're really going to have a home ice advantage because our ice will be different," Crunch Owner Howard Dolgon said.
The rain water used will help contribute to the required 250-million gallons of rain water that the county must capture before 2018.
The system in place at the War Memorial will also allow them to use the water for maintenance, cleaning and the irrigation of the new green roof at the convention center during a dry spell.