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February 26, 2008


Anne Canty / Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600

Ashokan Release Channel Goes into Service

Diverting 250 million gallons per day of turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that it will begin operating the Ashokan Release Channel, effective immediately; it was announced by Paul Rush, Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Water Supply. The Release Channel draws water from the West Basin of Ashokan Reservoir, where is it more likely to be turbid and discharges to the lower Esopus Creek. DEP expects to use the release channel to divert approximately 250 million gallons per day (mgd).

Opening the Release Channel has the benefit of improving the quality of the water in the Ashokan Reservoir in order to ensure the City meets water quality requirements of its Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) and minimize the need for chemical treatment, but it also has the potential to help improve flood attenuation by moving water out of the Ashokan Reservoir, which is currently at 99.9 % of capacity.

“DEP is particularly appreciative of the efforts of Senator Bonacic, who facilitated conversations with Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS), an affiliate of SUNY New Paltz that owns the Ashokan Field Campus, which is located immediately downstream of the Release Channel outlet, and to CAS for its willingness to so quickly work out an agreement,” said Paul Rush.

DEP and CAS are currently concluding arrangements of a purchase agreement that will allow for regular use of the Release Channel in the future and ensure that the educational and recreational activities traditionally undertaken at the Ashokan Field Campus may continue in the future as well.

The watershed of the City's 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes includes parts of eight counties on both sides of the Hudson River - Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster in the Catskill Region, and Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Counties east of the Hudson. DEP is responsible for operating and protecting the City's water supply system, one of the largest in the world, which serves nearly eight million residents of the City and one million people in Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Ulster Counties, as well as the millions of commuters and tourists who visit the City every day.



More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600