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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-122

December 8, 2016

DEP (718) 595-6600; DDC (718) 391-1583

City to Invest $10 Million to Improve Roadway Drainage and Reduce Flooding Along 9th Street in Gowanus and Carroll Gardens

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NYC Elected Officials, Neighborhood Residents Welcome Additional Sewer Capacity to Reduce Flooding during Heavy Rain while also Improving the Health of the Gowanus Canal

Project Complements Ongoing $52 Million Project to Build High-Level Storm Sewers Along 3rd Avenue in Gowanus

A Map of the Project Area is Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora today announced an upcoming $10 million sewer upgrade along 9th Street in the Gowanus and Carroll Gardens neighborhoods of Brooklyn that will improve drainage and reduce flooding. During heavy rain storms 9th Street is prone to flooding, which can impede the safe flow of traffic and impact local businesses. Funding for the project is being provided by DEP while DDC will oversee the construction. The design work for the project has been completed and it is anticipated that work will begin by the fall of 2017.

“The construction of new storm sewers along 9th Street will help to reduce the flooding that can occur during heavy rain storms, so we are excited to see this project moving forward,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “This work will also complement the more than $200 million we have already invested to help improve the health of the Gowanus Canal—including the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Flushing Tunnel and Pump Station, and the construction of 70 curbside rain gardens.”

“We are happy to partner with DEP to bring Gowanus residents new storm and sanitary sewer systems, which will make the neighborhood more resilient against flooding and potential water damage,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “In conjunction with other work in the area including the installation of rain gardens to further reduce pollution from stormwater runoff, we are providing environmental sustainability to a community long associated with industrialization and urbanization. This work will strengthen the infrastructure in Gowanus and present an opportunity for Brooklynites to enjoy greener spaces in their borough.”

“This is great news for the businesses and residents of 9th Street in Gowanus, who have endured flooding during heavy rainstorms for far too long," said Council Member Brad Lander. “The new storm sewer infrastructure will make a big difference for people tired of bailing water from their homes, cars, stores, and offices. Today’s announcement also bodes well for getting the infrastructure we need for the future. Along with high level storm sewers, improvements to the Flushing Tunnel, rain gardens, the Sponge Park, and—in the coming years—the Superfund cleanup and new CSO tanks, we are building a more resilient, environmentally healthier, more livable, and more sustainable Gowanus for the decades ahead.”

“Flooding and drainage has always been an area of concern for those who live and work in and around Gowanus, especially during storms,” said NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “This additional funding is welcome news and I am so glad to see a sustained effort from the city to clean up and improve the Gowanus Canal.”

As part of the project, stormwater and sanitary sewers will be installed on 9th Street between 2nd Avenue and the Gowanus Canal, and storm sewers will be constructed on 9th Street between Smith Street and the Canal. Additionally, combined sewers will be constructed along 2nd Avenue between 7th Street and 9th Street, along with the replacement of an existing cast iron water main.

This project complements a $52 million project that is already underway to install nearly three miles of high level storm sewers along 3rd Avenue that will create additional capacity in the neighborhood’s drainage system, helping to reduce street flooding and the amount of pollution that may be discharged into the Gowanus Canal during heavy rain storms.

To further aid in stormwater capture in the Gowanus Canal watershed, DEP has built 70 specially designed curbside gardens in the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope and Prospect Heights. The curbside gardens, also called bioswales, have the capacity to collect and absorb nearly 170,000 gallons of stormwater when it rains. It is estimated that the rain gardens will capture 6 million gallons of stormwater each year, thereby reducing sewer overflows into the Gowanus Canal and improving the health of the waterway.

In 2014, after a four-year $190 million upgrade, DEP reactivated the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel and the wastewater pumping station. The activation of three submersible turbine pumps brings up to 252 million gallons of oxygen-rich water to the head of the Canal each day, or roughly 30 percent more than was possible before the upgrade. The rehabilitation work also included draining the 1.2 mile long, 12 foot diameter tunnel and inspecting and repairing its brick-lined interior. The infusion of fresher water provided through the Flushing Tunnel has already increased the dissolved oxygen content of the water in the Canal while improving its aesthetics and provide a more suitable habitat for plant and aquatic life. In addition to the Flushing Tunnel, DEP is completing a rehabilitation and upgrade of a wastewater pumping station at the head of the Canal that reduces sewer overflows during heavy rain storms. The pump station sends up to 30 million gallons of wastewater to the Red Hook Wastewater Treatment plant each day, a 50 percent upgrade over its previous capacity.

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. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. 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.

DDC is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings, such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, courthouses, and senior centers. What’s more, DDC delivers new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains, and other infrastructure projects in communities throughout the city. Over the last decade, DDC has completed more than 750 miles of new roadways and sidewalks, 700 miles of water mains, and 500 miles of storm and sanitary sewers—all of which are essential for a vibrant city like New York. To manage this $9 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies and with emerging and world-renowned architects and consultants, whose experience and creativity bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600