FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18-71
July 16, 2018
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Department of Environmental Protection Partners with FDNY to Save 35,000 Gallons of Water Per Day
Part of $1.5 Billion Initiative to Ensure Clean, Reliable, Safe Drinking Water for More than Nine Million New Yorkers
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza joins FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro to announce that recently installed upgrades at FDNY’s Training Academy and a dozen fire houses across the City have resulted in a savings of more than 35,000 gallons of water per day. With funding provided by DEP, a water recovery facility was constructed at the Academy on Randall’s Island, which includes a 40,000 gallon underground tank used for calibrating equipment on FDNY pumper apparatus. Fixtures were also upgraded at 12 of the City’s largest firehouses as part of the initiative. DEP is funding water demand reduction projects across the City in preparation for the shutdown of the Delaware Aqueduct in 2022.
“The brave men and women at the FDNY are not only trained to save lives across the five boroughs, but they are also helping to save our City’s most precious resource—our world-renowned water,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “I thank our partners at the FDNY for their shared commitment in creating a more resilient, sustainable New York City.”
“The FDNY is proud to work closely with DEP to conserve water at our training academy and facilities, and to educate New Yorkers about the risks associated with illegally opened fire hydrants,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “An adequate water supply is essential to firefighting operations and to the safety of our members and the millions of New Yorkers they protect.”
DEP and FDNY have also joined forces for the Hydrant Education Action Team (HEAT) program, a fire hydrant abuse prevention campaign that deploys teams of teens hired through the Department of Youth and Community Development’s Summer Youth Employment Program to inform New Yorkers about the dangers of illegally opening fire hydrants, which can release one million gallons per day.
Encouraging water-usage reductions at FDNY facilities and hydrants is just one part of DEP’s efforts to conserve water as part of a $1.5 billion initiative to ensure clean, reliable, and safe drinking water for more than nine million New Yorkers for decades to come. As part of this initiative, DEP is working to repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct that supplies roughly half of the City’s daily drinking water. In order to complete these repairs to the Aqueduct, the tunnel must be temporarily shut down between 2022 and 2023.
In preparation for the shutdown, DEP has partnered with private property owners including businesses, hotels, restaurants and hospitals, and has developed a combination of conservation programs, such as the Toilet Replacement Program, Leak Notification Program, and Water Reuse Grant Pilot Program, to ensure an uninterrupted supply of water. DEP’s Municipal Water Efficiency Program identifies opportunities to conserve water at City-owned properties and facilities. As part of this program, DEP has already completed a partnership with NYC Parks to install activation buttons on spray showers at 400 playgrounds around the City that are saving 1.1 million gallons of water a day. More than 40,000 bathroom fixtures in 500 public school buildings are also being updated which will conserve approximately 4 million gallons of water each school day. An interactive map highlighting all water demand management projects can be viewed on DEP’s website.
As a result of multiple sustained water conservation programs, overall water use in the city has declined from over 1.5 billion gallons a day in 1980 to roughly 1 billion gallons a day at present, while the City’s population grew from just over 7.1 million to 8.6 million in the same period.
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 sewers 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 $18.9 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.