FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14-97
December 12, 2014
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City Completes Installation of Seven Miles of New Water Mains in the Kew Gardens Neighborhood of Queens
$10.6 Million Infrastructure Project Improves Reliability of Water Supply System
Photos of the Project and a Map of the Work Area are Posted on DEP’s Flickr Page
The New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Design and Construction (DDC) today announced the completion of a $10.6 million upgrade to the water supply infrastructure in Kew Gardens, Queens. The project included the installation of nearly seven miles of new distribution water mains that replaced unlined cast iron mains originally installed by the Jamaica Water Supply Company when the neighborhood was developed in the 1930s and 1940s. The upgraded infrastructure will ensure a reliable supply of water, improved water quality and dependable water pressure for firefighting. The project was funded by DEP and managed by DDC.
“By upgrading our infrastructure, we are ensuring the public has access to a reliable supply of healthy drinking water, that our firefighters have the water pressure they need to fight fires, and that there is adequate supply to allow for continued growth in Kew Gardens, said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd.
“Some of the cast iron water mains replaced were over a century old, said Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, DDC Commissioner. “Keeping our City’s infrastructure in a state of good repair while being a good neighbor in those communities where we are working are our top priorities. We are proud that these necessary upgrades will serve the Kew Gardens Community for decades to come.”
“A safe, secure and reliable water distribution system is necessary to ensure that our residents and visitors have dependable access to drinking water and that our firefighters have access to the water they need to fight fires and keep us all safe,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “I commend the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, led by Commissioner Lloyd, for its dedication to modernizing our borough’s water infrastructure.”
“There are few city services more essential than providing clean water to our residents,” said Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Kew Gardens). “These needed upgrades to the water main system will ensure that Kew Gardens continues to have high quality drinking water for decades to come and help the FDNY more effectively protect the community from fires. I thank DEP and DDC for making this project a priority.”
“The Kew Gardens Water Main Project has been completed,” said City Council Member Karen Koslowitz. “I know that this job, at times, was disruptive and intrusive. The project, however, was necessary. The unlined, iron pipes that were bringing water to people’s homes were installed by the Jamaica Water Company approximately eighty years ago. This finished project is the last leg of a supply system that brings into people’s homes, arguably the finest drinking water in the country.”
In total, the Kew Gardens water main project included the installation of 35,000 feet of new mains that range in size from 8 to 12 inches and make up local distribution networks that serve as a conduit between large trunk water mains and household service lines. In addition, 61 new manholes and 90 new hydrants were installed, and 2.7 lane miles of roadway was resurfaced.
Over the last 10 years, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion to upgrade water mains citywide, with more than $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 high quality water each day to more than nine million residents, including more than 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 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.