Sentinel Monitoring Program
DEP has a well-developed Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) program structured to detect and eliminate illicit discharges throughout the City. As part of this program DEP conducts a regular Shoreline Survey in order to identify and characterize shoreline outfalls. If a dry weather discharge is observed during the survey, an intense investigation is performed to confirm the source of the discharge and to eliminate it. As an enhancement the Shoreline Survey Program, a Sentinel Monitoring Program was designed, in cooperation with NYSDEC, to monitor specific sampling areas for pathogens in water bodies throughout New York City on a quarterly basis. The goal of the Sentinel Monitoring Program is the periodic monitoring and sampling of 80 ambient stations throughout New York City’s harbor. Sampling is performed after a dry antecedent period of forty eight hours and during various tidal cycles and seasons to ensure statistical integrity. The sampling results are compared to an established baseline set by DEC. If sampling results are above the baseline trigger limits, DEP aggressively pursues field investigations and surveillance of the adjacent shoreline of such sentinel stations to determine the source and cause of the contamination. Immediate actions are implemented to abate any illegal discharges detected. When a survey of the shoreline is performed, all shoreline survey protocols described in the Untreated Discharges section of the WWTP SPDES permit are followed.