Wastewater Treatment Plants
Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades
Within the New York City water supply watersheds on both sides of the Hudson River, there exists a total of 114 public and private wastewater treatment plants of varying age, size, capacity and condition. Some of these facilities are owned by local municipalities, many serve local camps, schools, hotels or restaurants, and still other facilities (six) are owned by New York City.
Specifically, 69 wastewater treatment plants are located in the East of Hudson Watershed while another 45 plants operate in the West of Hudson Watershed, including all six facilities owned by New York City (located in Tannersville, Grand Gorge, Margaretville, Pine Hill, Grahamsville and Chichester). The capacity of all these plants ranges from 1,100 gallons to 1.5 million gallons per day. Because many of these facilities release their treated effluent back into surface water, it is critical for water quality protection that all wastewater treatment plants are functioning to the highest possible treatment standard.
In collaboration with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), DEP funds a Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Program that includes two distinct components for existing non-City-owned wastewater treatment plants: (1) Regulatory Upgrades, and (2) SPDES (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Upgrades. Upgrades of all six City-owned facilities proceeded on a separate track and were completed by 1999.
The Regulatory Upgrade Program helps non-City-owned wastewater treatment plants meet the higher treatment and compliance standards of the New York City Watershed Regulations that go beyond federal or State requirements. The SPDES Upgrade Program helps West of Hudson wastewater treatment plants meet the conditions of their respective SPDES permits.
The upgrading of wastewater treatment plants in the New York City Watershed has resulted in clear improvements in the quality of effluent being discharged into surface waters. DEP’s water quality sampling efforts have demonstrated significant improvements in oxygen levels along with reductions in total suspended solids, phosphorus, and fecal coliform bacteria levels.
New Sewage Treatment Infrastructure Program
The oldest and most populated communities in the Catskill/Delaware Watershed were generally built along streams in narrow valleys. These villages and hamlets have small-size lots—many on steep slopes—which make it problematic to install individual septic systems that meet current water quality standards. For these small communities, the costs of building and operating new sewage treatment plants are prohibitive.
The New Sewage Treatment Infrastructure Program provided up to $104 million in funding for the construction of new sewage treatment facilities. The Program has now been concluded. Projects were completed in the following watershed communities: