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June 30, 1999

Contact: Cathy DelliCarpini (718/595-6600)

DEP Celebrates Beach Protection Enhancements On City Island With a Pre-4th Of July Beach Party

A New Underwater Sewer Main, New Survey Boats And The 1999 Enhanced Beach Protection Program

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., will host a celebration of the opening of the new City Island sewer "force" main, the christening of DEP's two new Shoreline Survey Boats, and the 1999 Enhanced Beach Protection Program (EBPP).

Commissioner Miele announced, "This beach season, City residents can be assured that DEP is continually striving to develop new harbor water quality enhancement programs and build upon the ones already in place. DEP is committed to improving the quality of Shoreline waters and thereby contribute to improved City life. These programs have and will continue to ensure significant improvement in harbor water quality."

New Force Main

In the summer of 1997, the original City Island force main, which was installed in 1973, malfunctioned and temporarily caused the closure of nearby Orchard Beach. In December 1997, construction began on the $13.4 million force main, buried beneath Eastchester Bay.

The force main consists of two parallel 14-inch pipes that extend 8,600 feet between City Island and the Bronx mainland. It uses pressure to force wastewater flow to the City Island Pumping Station, under Eastchester Bay, to the Bronx mainland for treatment at DEP's Hunts Point Water Pollution Control Plant. Construction was completed in Spring 1999.

New Shoreline Survey Boats

One of two new, state of the art, 26-foot shoreline survey vessels, used to monitor outfalls along the NYC shoreline and sample water for quality assurance, will be christened.

The Shoreline Survey Program identifies and characterizes dry weather discharges to City waters from wastewater outfalls. The program aggressively pursues field investigations necessary to recognize and abate illegal contaminated discharge. The cornerstone of DEP's Shoreline Survey Program is a fleet of survey vessels which are operated andmanaged by DEP's Marine Sciences Unit.

The City is tackling the problem of floatables, litter that washes into storm drains and ends up in local waters or on beaches, with a multifaceted program that includes street cleaning, catch basin maintenance, and the operation of a fleet of skimmer vessels to collect floating debris.

Enhanced Beach Protection Program

The EBPP heightens monitoring and maintenance of wastewater infrastructure near City beaches for the summer months, to minimize the chance of malfunctions that could cause beach closures. The EBPP supplements DEP's regular year-round monitoring of the water quality around our beaches. It will be in effect throughout the summer months (until September 15).

The EBPP was first introduced in 1997. Adding to the accomplishments of 1997 and 1998, the 1999 EBPP will:

  • increase surveillance and preventative maintenance of sewage pumping stations and regulators.
  • perform shoreline surveillance of sewer outfalls; and
  • analyze wastewater treatment facilities and sewer bypasses (common during wet weather when sewage flow exceeds storage volume or treatment capacity).

The new force main, Shoreline Survey boats, floatables control program, and EBPP are examples of DEP's numerous efforts to maintain and improve the quality of New York Harbor's waters into the new millennium. DEP's annual New York Harbor Water Quality Survey indicates that the harbor's environment is cleaner and water quality better than it has been since the turn of the century.

For more information on DEP's 1998 Harbor Water Quality Survey Report, wastewater pollution control system, or other pollution prevention programs, visit DEP's Web site at www.ci.nyc.ny.us/dep or call 718-DEP-HELP (337-4357).


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