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October 11, 2017, (718) 595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection and City College of New York Partner to Conserve 11 Million Gallons of Water Annually

Fixture Retrofit at City College

Nearly 800 Older Plumbing Fixtures Replaced with High-Efficiency Models

Water Conservation Projects Prepare City for Shutdown of Delaware Aqueduct

Photos are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the City College of New York (CCNY) today announced the completion of a water conservation project that has resulted in a savings of nearly 11 million gallons of water a year. With funding provided by DEP, CCNY has replaced nearly 800 older bathroom fixtures in 10 buildings on its Hamilton Heights campus with new, high-efficiency models. This work will reduce CCNY’s demand for water by an estimated 30,000 gallons of water per day. DEP is funding water demand reduction projects across the city in preparation for the shutdown of the Delaware Aqueduct in 2022.

“Upgrading plumbing fixtures with models that use less water is one way DEP is working with partners across the five boroughs to conserve one of our city’s most precious resources, our world renowned drinking water supply,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “I thank our partners at City College of New York who have demonstrated their commitment to being a sustainable member of our community.”

“Protecting the environment is a key emphasis of a variety of our academic and degree programs and it is important that we manage our campus in a way that is consistent with these values,” said City College of New York Interim President Vincent Boudreau. “Our designation as a green campus reflects the work and commitment of dedicated facilities staff, working to bring our operation in line with our aspirations to promote a sustainable future. We couldn't be happier.”

The retrofit, which cost about $200,000, upgraded about 780 fixtures in the following buildings: Aaron Davis Center, Administration Building, Compton Goethals, Harris Hall, North Academic Center, Marshak Science Building, Shepard Hall, Spitzer Hall, Steinman, and Wingate.

This unique partnership project was based off a similar effort DEP is undertaking in the City’s public schools. Thus far, more than 29,000 new, high-efficiency bathroom fixtures have been installed at 323 public school buildings throughout the five boroughs. This has resulted in an approximately 70 percent reduction in water use at each of the buildings, saving nearly 3 million gallons of water each school day. Work will continue on additional schools with the goal of reaching 500 buildings, and roughly 40,000 bathroom fixtures by 2019, resulting in nearly 4 million gallons of water conserved each school day.

DEP is funding the $50 million high-efficiency bathroom fixture replacement program in the City’s public schools as part of a larger effort to reduce citywide water consumption by five percent prior to the approximately 6-month shutdown of the leaking Delaware Aqueduct, which conveys roughly half of the city’s drinking water, in October 2022. The $1 billion project will repair two areas of leakage within the 85-mile Delaware Aqueduct, the longest tunnel in the world. The primary leak will be eliminated through the construction of a 2.5-mile bypass tunnel, which will be drilled 600 feet below the Hudson River from Newburgh to Wappinger.

In addition to ensuring that DEP’s nearly 10 million customers in New York City and upstate communities have an adequate supply of healthy drinking water during the temporary shutdown of the Delaware Aqueduct, the five percent reduction in consumption will reduce the amount of electricity, chemicals, and other costs associated with operating the water system. It will also cut carbon emissions from the wastewater treatment process by more than 15,500 metric tons per year, the equivalent of removing 3,300 cars from the road or planting more than 400,000 trees and letting them grow for ten years.

As a result of water conservation programs, the transition from frontage billing to metered billing, the roll out of Automated Meter Readers and real-time feedback about water consumption, overall water use in the city has declined from over 1.5 billion gallons a day in 1980 to roughly 1 billion gallons a day at present. This significant reduction occurred while the city’s population grew from just over 7.1 million to 8.5 million in the same period.

About DEP

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 21 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 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 The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. Now celebrating its 170th anniversary, CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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