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August 26, 2013


Christopher Gilbride / Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection Completes $50 Million Distribution Facility for the Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx

Project Will Allow for Activation of the Croton Water Filtration Plant Later This Year

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland today announced the completion of a $50 million distribution facility for the Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx.  The underground facility will receive filtered water from the Croton Filtration Plant through high and low pressure water tunnels and regulate it before it is released into the local distribution network for consumption by New Yorkers.  Construction of the facility began in 2009 and its completion will allow for the activation of the Croton Filtration Plant, the largest such underground facility in the country, later this year.  The Croton Filtration Plant is located under Van Cortlandt Park and will provide up to 290 million gallons of water to the city every day.

“The completion of the distribution facility, and the activation of the filtration plant later this year, will help ensure a reliable supply of high quality drinking water for New York City for decades to come,” said Commissioner Strickland.  “Thorough coordination with the community, elected officials, the Monitoring Committee, nearby schools, and other stakeholders ensured that this critical construction was completed in a timely manner with minimal disruption.”

“With the completion of the Croton Distribution Chamber, more than 8 million New Yorkers can be even more certain that their drinking water is safe for themselves and their families,” said Council Member James F. Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), chair of the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection. “I want to congratulate Commissioner Strickland for his leadership in making sure that this world-class facility was built while keeping costs to the City’s ratepayers down.”

“I am pleased that this element in the filtration plant facility is complete,” said Council Member G. Oliver Koppell.  “This part of the project was completed with relatively little adverse community impact. I appreciate the responsiveness of DEP to the Croton Filtration Plant Monitoring Committee on which I serve”.

Construction of the underground facility included the excavation of 13,000 cubic yards of soil and 3,000 cubic yards of rock.  To mitigate construction noise DEP built a 20 foot tall wall around the excavation site and funded the installation of air conditioners in a local school.  Connecting the distribution facility to the local water mains required some traffic detours in the area and this work was completed over the last three summers, while school was not in session. 

The underground distribution facility also includes a grade-level green roof that will be landscaped and open to the public.  The planted vegetation and soil on the roof will absorb rainfall and reduce runoff into the city sewer system.  This eases pressure on wastewater treatment plants, helps reduce localized flooding, and improves the health of local waterways.  The green roof will also help lower heating and cooling costs for the building.

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 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 $14 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which will allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

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NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600