The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it is in the midst of a $29 million drainage upgrade at 19 separate New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) properties. The projects, which began earlier this year, include the construction of green infrastructure installations that together will capture approximately 55 million of gallons of stormwater in a typical year. By capturing the stormwater that falls on the developments and keeping it out of the sewer system, the projects will ease pressure on neighborhood sewers during rainstorms, which will reduce flooding and any overflows into local waterways, including the Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, East River and Jamaica Bay.
“For nearly a decade DEP has been making substantial investments to capture stormwater and keep it out of the City’s sewer system, and funding these ongoing upgrades at NYCHA properties will improve the quality of life for residents while also reducing neighborhood flooding and any sewer overflow into local waterways,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We look forward to continuing this practical partnership with NYCHA in order to provide the same drainage and landscaping improvements at other development across the five boroughs while simultaneously reducing any neighborhood flooding and improving the health of local waterways.”
“Investing in stormwater management at NYCHA developments will help us improve drainage systems and keep waterways clean,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “Our close partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection has allowed the Authority to bring 21st-Century drainage and landscaping upgrades to several developments and we are excited to expand these stormwater upgrades to more developments across our portfolio.”
“I applaud DEP and NYCHA for breaking down barriers between agencies to advance much needed green infrastructure improvements at NYCHA developments in the Bronx and Brooklyn,” said Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President. “Infrastructure needs do not discriminate based on agency purview, and I hope the City continues to build on these types of partnerships as we work to tackle the growing challenges of climate change and water management.”
Typically, NYCHA is responsible for drainage at each of its properties. However, DEP saw the opportunity to capture significant stormwater across the portfolio of NYCHA properties which would ease pressure on neighborhood sewers and reduce overflows into local waterways. DEP approached NYCHA with the proposal to upgrade the drainage systems and the partnership is ongoing with additional sites in the planning and design phases in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
As part of this work, each NYCHA property is surveyed by DEP engineers and green infrastructure installations are designed to meet the specifications of each particular site. Construction may include permeable concrete sidewalks, permeable asphalt, permeable pavers, subsurface infiltration chambers and/or rain gardens. Each green infrastructure installation allows stormwater to be absorbed naturally into the ground, which minimizes any ponding and keeps stormwater from entering the sewer system, where it would otherwise contribute to neighborhood flooding and overflows into local waterways.
NYCHA properties where drainage upgrades have been completed:
- Gowanus Houses
- Throggs Neck Houses
- Pennsylvania Avenue – Wortman Avenue Houses
- Boulevard Houses
- Linden Houses
- Van Dyke I Houses
- Van Dyke II Houses
NYHCA properties where drainage upgrades are underway:
- Cypress Hills Houses
- Pink Houses
- Brownsville Houses
- Bushwick II Houses
- Tilden Houses
NYCHA properties where drainage upgrades will begin over the next several months:
- Kingsborough Houses
- Brevoort Houses
- Roosevelt I Houses
- Roosevelt II Houses
- Glenmore Houses
- Howard Houses
- Seth Low Houses
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.8 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.1 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.