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July 24, 2000

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718/595-6600)

New York City To Build Kensico Pollution Prevention Facility At Pepsico Technical Center

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the Department and PepsiCo, Inc. have reached an historic agreement to build a pollution prevention facility on land at PepsiCo's Technical Center in the Town of Mount Pleasant. The project will protect water quality in the Kensico Reservoir by capturing pollutants in stormwater runoff at Malcolm Brook, a tributary of the Reservoir. DEP will construct and maintain the $1,000,000 facility.

Commissioner Miele said, "In a typical rainstorm, water will wash off pollutants that collect on surfaces into reservoir tributaries. Materials washed into streams may include organic matter, such as leaf litter and soil, petroleum products that have dripped from motor vehicles, the droppings of domestic and wild animals, and pollutants that settle from the atmosphere. Since Malcolm Brook flows into the Kensico Reservoir near a chamber that brings drinking water into the distribution system, it is critically important that we ensure the water's purity. This facility will be of major assistance in protecting water quality at the north end of the Kensico Reservoir, so the City is very grateful to PepsiCo and its management for allowing DEP to build the facility on its property."

The facility, known as an "extended detention basin," will include a "forebay" that captures the coarsest sediments and allows cleaner water to flow into a permanent pool of water at the main basin where finer particles of sediment settle out and harmful bacteria die. To prevent downstream flooding and erosion, embankments of the basin are designed to contain the volume of water runoff resulting from a 100-year storm. Additional features of the basin are created wetlands planted with native wetland plants, which will enhance wetland functions, including removal of turbidity and significant amounts of phosphorus, a nutrient that encourages growth of oxygen-depleting algae. Design of the facility is particularly sensitive to the topography of the available land area, with the detention basin and created wetlands planned to complement the pollution removal capabilities of existing natural wetlands in the Malcolm Brook watershed.

"PepsiCo is committed to protecting the environment wherever we do business," said Richard M. Detwiler, Jr., Vice President of Public Relations for PepsiCo, Inc. "We're proud to help support this important effort to safeguard the water used by millions of people in our home state of New York."

The extended detention basin project is part of DEP's Kensico Reservoir Water Quality Control Program, which is designed to maintain and enhance water quality by reducing the amounts of pathogens, turbidity and other pollutants that may flow to the reservoir from sources in its watershed. The program includes construction of additional stormwater control measures, dredging of silt near effluent chambers, installation of an underwater curtain wall in the Malcolm Brook cove, extensive sewer repairs, and the waterfowl management program that has been in effect since 1994. Additionally, DEP and the communities and corporations surrounding the Kensico Reservoir have established the Kensico Watershed Improvement Committee (KWIC), which has developed a plan to prevent pollution of the reservoir from the corporations on Routes 120 and 22. Another project involving DEP and the communities around the reservoir is the Kensico Environmental Enhancement Program (KEEP), which develops programs to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the Kensico watershed.

Because of concerns about West Nile Virus, storm water collection facilities around the Kensico basin will be treated with natural bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which kills mosquito larvae, but is harmless to humans.

The New York City Water Supply System serves nearly eight million residents of the City and one million people who live in Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Ulster Counties. The source of this water, world-renowned for its high quality and excellent taste, is a 1,969-square-mile watershed in five rural counties of the Catskill Region and three suburban counties north of the City and east of the Hudson River. Ninety percent of the water in New York City's supply comes from the Catskill and Delaware Systems, west of the Hudson River, and flows through the Kensico Reservoir on its way to distribution systems. The other 10 percent comes from Croton System reservoirs in Putnam and Westchester Counties. The modern-day Kensico Reservoir has a capacity of 30.6 billion gallons and went into service in 1915. DEP is responsible for protecting and operating this surface water supply system, one of the largest in the world.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600