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September 26, 2016

Brooklyn’s 26th Ward Wastewater Treatment Plant Earns ASCE Infrastructure ‘Game Changer’ Award

Upgrades at 26th Ward Wastewater Treatment Plant and Jamaica Bay

Treatment Plant is One of 15 Groundbreaking Infrastructure Projects Recognized Nationwide

$150 Million Upgrade Includes Construction of a Fifth Treatment Tank to Ensure the Plant Operates at Full Capacity During Wet Weather and to Help Protect the Health of Jamaica Bay

Photos of the Plant and Jamaica Bay are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has named the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) 26th Ward Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn an Infrastructure Game Changer. The treatment plant, which is undergoing a $150 million upgrade, was honored in the infrastructure category ‘Wastewater’ under the newly added trend ‘Sustainable Solutions.’ Across America, ASCE designated 15 new groundbreaking infrastructure projects representing the latest trends in transportation, water, freight, and energy infrastructure that are changing the way projects are planned and built to address the nation’s infrastructure needs.

“These Game Changers demonstrate just some of the ways civil engineers are using innovative technologies and creative thinking to serve our communities and solve the United States’ significant infrastructure challenges,” said Mark W. Woodson, P.E., L.S., FASCE, president of ASCE. “When we combine political will and investment with engineering ingenuity, we can make real, long-lasting improvements to our infrastructure and our daily lives.”

“The 26th Ward Wastewater Treatment Plant is truly a Game Changer because the $150 million upgrade will allow us to increase the plant’s resiliency against a changing climate and rising sea levels while ensuring its reliability for decades to come and continuing to improve the ecological health of Jamaica Bay,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “This project demonstrates DEP’s commitment to making significant financial investments in sustainable infrastructure solutions that protect both public health and the environment.”

As part of the $150 million project to upgrade the plant to provide critical redundancies and ensure it remains in a state of good repair for decades to come, DEP will be adding a fifth preliminary treatment tank and installing new energy efficient and durable main sewage pumps, process air blowers and LED lighting.

Additionally, a green roof will be added to the facility, large blowers will be put indoors to reduce noise pollution, and all materials will be reused and recycled whenever possible. As the facility is located adjacent to Hendrix Creek and Jamaica Bay, the design for all the new structures, as well as the location and installation of critical equipment, follows guidelines outlined in DEP’s Wastewater Resiliency Plan and meets stringent and updated Federal Emergency Management Agency Advisory Base Flood Elevation regulations. The work is taking place pursuant to an agreement between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York City.

The 26th Ward Wastewater Treatment Plant is located in southeastern Brooklyn on a 57.3 acre site and serves approximately 283,000 residents in East New York, Canarsie and Brownsville. It has the capacity to receive, clean and disinfect up to 170 million gallons a day of combined sanitary and stormwater flow. As part of an agreement with DEC, DEP engaged Greeley and Hansen, an engineering, architecture, and management solutions firm specializing in water, wastewater, and related infrastructure challenges, to design a project that would add to the plant’s preliminary treatment tanks and modify the high level sewage pumps, pump and blower house, sludge de-gritting wing and other work. The main objective of the project is to provide primary treatment redundancy and uniform grit distribution at the preliminary settling tanks during wet weather events, along with associated structural, architectural, electrical and instrumentation upgrades.

About ASCE Game Changers

Game Changers was developed by ASCE’s Committee on America’s Infrastructure—seasoned engineers with expertise across the major infrastructure sectors, also responsible for ASCE’s Report Card for America’s Infrastructure—in close collaboration with ASCE’s technical institutes, as well as industry associations and the local/state government agencies who work on these projects. Game Changers span the 16 categories of infrastructure graded in the Report Card, and come from across the United States. This year’s new Game Changers add to the 24 trends and 41 Game Changer projects named by ASCE in 2015. More about each new Game Changer, as well as the full list of Game Changers, is available at

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About DEP

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 nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

About ASCE

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, graded America’s cumulative GPA for infrastructure at a D+. The Report Card app for Apple and Android devices includes videos, interactive maps and infographics that tell the story behind the grades, as well as key facts for all 50 states. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter, @ascetweets and @ascegovrel.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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