FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE04-11
Control Project in Carmel to Improve Water Quality in West Branch Croton
Retention Basin and Wetlands to Decrease Pollutants in Stormwater Runoff
and Help Beautify Carmel Neighborhood
Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) announced today that the DEP will build its first new
stormwater retention project at the northeast corner of Route 6 and Meadowlark
Drive in the Town of Carmel. The project will improve the quality of stormwater
entering New York City’s Croton Falls Reservoir and will result
in numerous aesthetic improvements to half an acre of City-owned property.
Work on the Meadowlark Drive Bluebelt Project is expected to begin in
early summer and last approximately four months. The project will cost
about $750,000, of which $205,000 will come from the US Army Corps of
Engineers and the State Department of Conservation under the federal Water
Resources Development Act. The remaining portion will be paid by New York
“The goal is to improve water quality by increasing the retention
time of stormwater that runs off a section Route 6 at that location, and
from other impervious surfaces,” said Commissioner Ward. “By
routing that water through created wetland we can allow more suspended
particles to settle out before the runoff reaches the reservoir and we
can take advantage of the natural cleansing properties of vegetation.
If this project is successful the DEP will undertake numerous similar
projects throughout the watershed.”
The project will replace an existing retention basin that was built
almost ten years ago. The new wetland/stormwater system will use a series
of earthen berms to direct stormwater runoff through a twisting manmade
marshland and then into a small pool before the water discharges into
the West Branch Croton River. A low stone wall will surround most of the
area. The West Branch Croton River connects the West Branch Reservoir
and the Croton Falls Reservoir, and any water that enters it winds up
in New York City’s water supply.
The project is designed with an emphasis on beautification and fitting
manmade objects seamlessly into the natural environment. Berms and part
of the surrounding area will be planted with wildflowers. The new marshland
will be have low marsh and high marsh plantings, and all structures and
walls will be built with stone and other rustic materials.
The project was developed by the DEP engineers and makes use of many
of the techniques the agency has developed while constructing the Staten
Island Bluebelt system, and the stormwater management controls required
by the U.S. EPA’s filtration avoidance determinations.
The Staten Island Bluebelt system has saved New York City hundreds of
millions of dollars in sewer construction costs by using the natural features
of Staten Island’s open space to convey and manage stormwater runoff.
Besides large cost savings, the project has the added benefit of preserving
neighborhood open space and wetlands.
The DEP has been monitoring stormwater quality going in and out of the
Carmel site for over a year, and will continue to do so during and after
construction to determine the effectiveness of the project in removing
suspended solids and other pollutants. Based on the success of the project
and what is learned from the monitoring, the City will look to build ten
similar projects by 2007 in its watershed.
For more information on watershed protection, Bluebelt management practices
and the Staten Island Bluebelt please see the Department of Environmental
Protection’s Web site at www.nyc.gov/dep.