FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14-54
June 25, 2014
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Fountain at Ashokan Reservoir Will be Temporarily Shut Down to Allow for Hydropower Upgrades
Park around fountain will remain open during work by New York Power Authority
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that the fountain at Ashokan Reservoir will be shut down until mid-August while the New York Power Authority (NYPA) upgrades its below-ground hydropower facilities. The fountain is expected be turned back on about Aug. 15.
Water runs to the fountain only when NYPA’s hydropower turbines, located below ground between the reservoir and the fountain, are in service. The shutdown was needed to update control mechanisms on the two hydropower turbine units. A fence has been installed and signs are posted around the work area to ensure public safety.
The 5-acre park area around the fountain will remain open while NYPA upgrades its infrastructure. The park is used each year by several thousand local residents and visitors, who enjoy the scenic view while picnicking, playing catch, bicycling, walking and other activities. It is adjacent to the Ashokan Day Use Area that provides 2.5 miles of scenic walkways. The water fountain at Ashokan replaced the original Catskill Aqueduct aeration system in 1982 during the installation of two hydroelectric turbines by NYPA. The turbines produce 4,700 kilowatts of electrical power for surrounding electrical grids.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with over $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.