FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-107
October 18, 2016
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$10.6 Million Drainage Upgrade at Edenwald Houses in the Bronx Will Reduce Flooding and Improve the Health of the Hutchinson River
Addition of Green Infrastructure will Capture Up to 10 Million Gallons of Stormwater Annually and Reduce Flooding and Internal Sewer Backups
Photos of the Work are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today joined with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to announce that construction is underway on a $10.6 million project that will see the installation of green infrastructure at the Edenwald Houses in the Bronx. By capturing approximately 10 million gallons of stormwater that falls on the development each year, the project will reduce internal sewer backups and ease pressure on the sewer system during rainstorms, which will decrease overflows into the Hutchinson River. Construction began earlier this year and is anticipated to be completed in late 2017. DEP is funding the project, which is part of the ongoing Green Infrastructure Program, a sustainable approach to improving the health of New York City waterways by softening the impervious urban landscape, while also improving air quality.
“By investing $10.6 million to upgrade the facilities at NYCHA’s Edenwald Houses, we will continue the important work of improving the health of the Hutchinson River while also enhancing services to residents,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We look forward to continuing this critical partnership with NYCHA in order to provide the same drainage and landscaping improvements at other development across the city.”
“NYCHA is committed to creating healthier, more sustainable communities that can withstand the challenges of climate change,” said NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly. “Working hand-in-hand with partner agencies like DEP, we are implementing green infrastructure upgrades that will improve the quality of life of our residents and the surrounding community.”
“The addition of these new sustainable drainage systems at NYCHA’s Edenwald Houses is a smart and environmentally sound investment that will benefit countless New Yorkers,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “These upgrades will not only improve and protect New York City’s waterways, particularly the Hutchinson River, but create more welcoming urban spaces for those who call Edenwald Houses home.”
“This project is a wonderful example of how green initiatives can help to solve neighborhood problems while simultaneously improving our environment,” said Congressman Eliot Engel, a lead member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “With the installation of this new infrastructure, Edenwald Houses’ residents should see marked improvement in their sewage systems, improving their everyday quality of life. The Hutchinson River will also see a reduction in overflows, thus improving the health and sustainability of local ecosystems. It’s a win-win, and I thank DEP and NYCHA for working together to make these vital improvements.”
“We welcome this green infrastructure project at the Edenwald Houses. Not only will it bring more beautification to the area and boost the quality of life for the residents, it is a great example of the working partnership between NYCHA and DEP to better our housing developments,” said Council Member Andy King, 12th CD.
Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, said, “The planned green infrastructure project at Edenwald Houses will help us reach our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050. The permeable pavers, porous asphalt, rain gardens, and rooftop rain diversion systems will capture 10 million gallons of stormwater. These additions will beautify the neighborhood, reduce sewage backups, and decrease overflows into our most vital resource—our waterways. I thank DEP Acting Commissioner Sapienza and NYCHA Chair Olatoye for their support in making our city greener.”
“The upgrades at Edenwald Houses will not only protect the environment but also improve the living conditions for residents of the development. The investments to improve green infrastructure will impact many different areas of Edenwald, and can be a model for other developments throughout the City,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing.
The green infrastructure to be built at the Edenwald Houses includes permeable pavers in courtyard areas and pedestrian plazas, porous asphalt and pervious concrete in parking areas, rain gardens, and a system to collect and divert the rain that falls on the rooftops of the buildings. Each of these green infrastructure installations will allow stormwater to be absorbed naturally into the ground, minimize ponding and keep stormwater from entering the sewer system, where it would otherwise contribute to overflows into the Hutchinson River. The green infrastructure will also provide inviting spaces for residents, additional landscaping and improved air quality and shade during the summer months.
Built in 1953, the Edenwald Houses development consists of 41 buildings on approximately 53 acres. NYCHA facilities provide a unique opportunity to utilize publicly-owned property to build green infrastructure and improve the health of local waterways. In addition, DEP is constructing rain gardens and porous pavement on sidewalks and roadways, while also looking at other publicly owned properties, such as playgrounds and school yards, for additional green infrastructure opportunities.
Over the last decade, DEP has invested more than $10 billion in upgrades to wastewater treatment plants and related efforts to reduce sewer overflows and improve the cleanliness and health of New York City harbor water, and testing confirms that the water is cleaner today than it has been in more than a century. However, sewer overflows remain the City’s major harbor water quality challenge, which is why the City launched the most ambitious and aggressive green infrastructure program in the country.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including 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. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $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, or follow us on Twitter.