FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14-65
August 12, 2014
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Department of Environmental Protection Graduates Class of 48 Sewage Treatment Workers
Photos of the Training and Graduation can be Viewed on DEP’s Flickr Page
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd on Friday presided over a graduation ceremony for 48 sewage treatment workers who will immediately be assigned to the City’s collection facilities and 14 wastewater treatment plants. The 48 graduates join DEP’s Bureau of Wastewater Treatment and its more than 650 sewage treatment workers. In order to ensure that the graduates are prepared to safely perform the myriad of highly specialized and complex tasks necessary to treat the 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater produced in New York City every day, they completed a mandatory five-week orientation program on a wide variety of topics including worker safety, wastewater treatment plant operations, and maintenance. Deputy Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and Assistant Commissioner John Petito joined Commissioner Lloyd at the graduation ceremony that took place at the Red Hook Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn.
“Sewage Treatment Workers perform a critical function in protecting public health by ensuring that the 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater produced in New York City each day are cleaned and treated to federal standards,” said Commissioner Lloyd. “I am pleased to welcome the new graduates who now join the proud tradition of dedication to the environmental and public health in New York City.”
The intense five-week orientation for the graduates included hands-on training at the Red Hook, 26th Ward, Newtown Creek, and Wards Island Wastewater Treatment Plants. Topics covered included personal protection equipment, right to know, fall protection, algebra, work zone safety, oxy-acetylene cutting, pipe soldering and fitting, working in confined spaces, rigging and moving heavy equipment with chains, slings, hoists and cranes, and the proper use of an aerial lift and fork lift. The graduates also received the New York City Fire Department Certificate of Physical Fitness.
Over the last decade, DEP has invested more than $10 billion in upgrades to its 14 treatment plants and related efforts to ensure that all the wastewater created in the city is properly treated and regular testing of the water in New York Harbor shows that it is cleaner that it has been in more than a century. DEP has also committed more than $1.5 billion to reduce the amount of nitrogen released from the treatment plants into local waterways. High levels of nitrogen can degrade the overall ecology of a waterway by reducing levels of dissolved oxygen and promoting excessive algae growth.
The new graduates are:
Raymond Dotzler Jr.
Julian Wilder III
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.4 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. 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, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.