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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18-60
June 12, 2018
718-595-6600, deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov

$67 Million Energy Efficiency Upgrade of the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant Will Improve Air Quality and Reduce Operating Costs

$67 Million Hunts Point Upgrade

New Dewatering Centrifuges to Consume 60 Percent less Electricity, Approximately Equivalent to the Annual Electricity Use of 440 Homes; Avoiding Release of 826 Metric Tons of Greenhouse Gases Annually

Photos of the Work and a Map are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza today announced the start of construction on a $67 million comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade at the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in the south Bronx. As part of the improvement, 16 new centrifuges, which are used in the final steps of the wastewater treatment process, will be installed. The new centrifuges will consume 60 percent less electricity and process 25 percent more material than the older models. This operational efficiency will translate to the avoidance of 826 metric tons of greenhouse gases every year and an annual savings of more than $1.7 million. DEP is providing the funding for the work and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) is implementing the upgrades, which are expected to be complete in 2020.

“The Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant cleans more than 200 million gallons of wastewater from nearly 700,000 residents in the Bronx every day of the year,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “This work is essential to protecting public health and the environment, but it also requires a great deal of electricity. We’re excited to partner with NYPA to install these new centrifuges to reduce our carbon footprint, improve air quality and lower operating costs.”

“The Power Authority is proud to manage the Hunts Point project alongside DEP to help make New York State cleaner, safer and more energy-efficient,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “NYPA is committed to collaborating with DEP and all of our government partners throughout the state to help them efficiently manage energy, reduce New York’s carbon footprint and save taxpayer dollars.”

“The upgrade of the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant will facilitate the essential work of treating residential and commercial wastewater within our borough, while at the same time helping to improve our residents’ health by reducing toxic air pollution from power plants, all at a lower cost to residents,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“I applaud the City, and specifically the Department of Environmental Protection, for this $67 million comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade that has begun at the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant,” said State Senator Luis Sepulveda. “As the state Senator whose district includes Hunts Point, this upgrade will not only save money - and increase energy output, but is good for the local environment and its long-suffering residents by reducing greenhouse gases.”

“The Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant is one of the City’s largest water pollution control plants and this $67 million energy efficiency upgrade is crucial to the Hunts Point community I represent, ensuring clean air and safe environmental practices,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. “I hope these much needed improvements create local jobs and help to further address odors from the plant.”

“Air pollution is a serious concern for Hunts Point residents and in order for New York to have the cleanest air of any large city we must make government operations more efficient,” said Ralph Acevedo, District Manager of Bronx Community Board 2. “This $67 million energy efficiency upgrade of the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant is a good start and we thank DEP and NYPA for working to reduce air pollution in the Bronx.”

The Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant has 13 existing centrifuges in operation and this project will remove those 13 units and replace them with 16 new, energy efficient centrifuges. Ancillary equipment, including sludge and polymer feed pumps with associated instrumentation and controls, will be replaced as well. The older centrifuges will be removed and replaced with newer models in groups of four to ensure the continued operation of the plant throughout the duration of the project.

Also constructed will be a new operator’s computer workstation complete with an online solids monitoring system and new motor control center. Extensive piping and the many specialized pumps, valves, and other wastewater equipment that work in direct support of the centrifuges will also be replaced. Additionally, lighting fixtures in the centrifuge room, the control room, the conveyor room, and the polymer bulk storage area will be upgraded to more energy efficient models.

The centrifuges are used in one of the final steps in the wastewater treatment process. Each centrifuge consists of a solid cylindrical bowl rotating at a high speed and a scroll rotating on the same axis with a slightly different speed. Operating similarly to the spin cycle of a washing machine, the gravitational forces created by the very fast spinning of the centrifuge separates most of the water from the solids in the wastewater sludge within seconds.

Over the last decade, NYPA and DEP have partnered on more than $377 million in energy efficiency measures, either complete or in construction, at more than a dozen facilities throughout the city, including a nearly $24 million lighting upgrade at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant that is nearing completion. Those improvements are tied to estimated DEP savings of nearly $13 million annually and the removal of thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere every year.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9.6 million residents, including 8.6 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 $19.1 billion in investments 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, or follow us on Twitter.

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.

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NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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(718) 595-6600