Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora today announced that the City recently began a $19.7 million upgrade to the water delivery and sewer systems in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens.
Over the summer, work began to install nearly 3 miles of new distribution water mains. The new ductile iron mains will replace the unlined cast iron mains that currently serve the neighborhood and were installed in the 1930s. The project will also include the installation of 1.3 miles of new steel trunk water mains, which serve as a conduit between the large water tunnels and the local distribution mains. The new water mains will help to accommodate the added demand from the growing population of northeast Queens and will ensure adequate water pressure for firefighters and a reliable supply of high quality drinking water for the area. While the roadway is opened to add the new water mains, the project will also include upgrades to the area’s sanitary and storm sewers. The project is being funded by DEP and managed by DDC and is expected to be completed during the Summer of 2016.
“Ensuring that communities like Bayside will continue to have reliable access to high quality drinking water and that firefighters will have the water pressure they need to fight fires is a core component of our mission,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars across the five boroughs, including $380 million in Queens alone, to retire our aging water mains and to extend and improve our distribution network so that businesses and residents will have a dependable supply of safe and clean drinking water for decades to come.”
“In our partnership with DEP, we are bringing together some of the most innovative engineers, designers and construction managers in the country to produce cost effective long-term solutions for renewing our City’s water infrastructure,” said Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, DDC Commissioner. “These new water mains, almost 4.3 miles in all, will amply support the community of Bayside as it continues to grow.”
“A renewal of this kind to the City’s infrastructure greatly improves the quality of life in communities like Bayside,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. “I thank the DEP and DDC for investing in this growing community and providing residents and small businesses with a safe, reliable water supply for years to come.”
“I look forward to the completion of this project, which should bring improvements to water delivery and storm drainage in Eastern Queens,” said City Council Member Mark S. Weprin.
“It’s great to see the City turning our hard earned dollars to good use as investments into our core infrastructure,” said Michael Feiner, President of the Bayside Hills Civic Association. “Ensuring the future resiliency of Bayside Hills is at the very essence of our existence. Our organization watches very carefully and diligently over the neighborhood and we are confident and optimistic that these investments will be successful. Bayside is established, diverse, and growing, and we applaud the City for its focus on our community and for further ensuring that all residents have access to high quality drinking water for years to come.”
New York City’s high quality drinking water is collected in protected upstate reservoirs and brought to the borough of Queens by City Water Tunnel No. 2, which begins at Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers and travels southeast through Bronx, crosses under the upper East River, and then travels southwest through Queens and Brooklyn. Four shafts located in Queens bring the water hundreds of feet up from City Water Tunnel No. 2 to the distribution system where it enters trunk mains that range in size from 30 to 72 inches in diameter. Trunk mains feed the local water mains that range in size from 6 to 20 inches and run down every street in the city. The new water mains installed as part of this project will improve the pressure and quality of the water while also providing a critical redundancy to the distribution system that will help to minimize disruption to consumers during future maintenance work. The upgrade in Bayside will replace 7,000 feet of 48-inch diameter trunk mains, 15,405 feet of local distribution water mains that are between eight and 12 inches in diameter, 1,680 feet of sanitary sewers, and 576 feet of storm sewers. Work will also include the installation of 58 fire hydrants, 112 water main valves, and new sidewalks and curbs.
Over the last decade DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion to upgrade water mains citywide, with approximately $380 million dedicated to improving the distribution system in Queens. Over the next 10 years DEP has budgeted similar amounts to ensure that the drinking water delivery system remains in a state of good repair.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight 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 nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which will allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, please visit here.