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July 21, 1999

Contact: Charles Sturcken, Cathy DelliCarpini 718-595-6600

Site For Croton Water Filtration Facilities Approved

The New York City Council today voted to approve a modified application by the City's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to construct a water filtration plant and related facilities underground at the site of the Mosholu Golf Course in the Norwood section of the Bronx. The vote ensures the City will be able to comply with the terms of the agreement reached last May between the United States, the State of New York and the City, and embodied in the consent decree in United States, et. al. vs. City of New York (EDNY). In December of last year, DEP announced its selection of the Mosholu Golf Course site as the preferred site for the construction of the Croton water filtration plant. DEP reached its decision after analyzing the environmental, operational and financial impacts of each of the 17 project alternatives; 8 alternative sites for the plant's construction as well as sites for necessary related facilities.

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., assured concerned Bronx residents that DEP will take extraordinary care to minimize the impact of construction on the community and will involve local residents and civic organizations in regular reviews of construction progress. "We have built into our construction methods various mitigation measures that will minimize any noise, dust, or traffic generated by the project. Our commitment to this community is equal to our commitment to water quality and both will be well-served by the construction of the plant." The Commissioner added, "Revisions to our proposal made during the review process incorporate additional community enhancements that further ensure the site's recreational and open spaces will not only be preserved but significantly enhanced."

DEP selected the Mosholu Golf Course site as the preferred site because it offers the following specific benefits:

  • the least potential for significant impacts during construction, and no significant impacts imposed by operation of the filtration plant facilities;
  • the facilities could be constructed below grade allowing the golf driving range, the golf course and the golf course clubhouse to be reconstructed after to enhanced, modernized designs (the plant footprint is expected to cover 10 acres and be completely contained beneath the golf course); and,
  • the site allows for the construction of both the filtration plant and the related facilities, the 20 million gallon treated water reservoir and the finished water pumping station, all at one location.

The construction costs of the water filtration plant, with a design capacity of 290 million gallons per day (mgd), and the related facilities, is estimated at $660 million. Annual operations and maintenance costs are projected to be $11 million. The plant will use state-of-the-art disinfection and filtration processes including dissolved air flotation for the removal of solids, ozonation for primary disinfection, and biologically active carbon filtration.

The next milestones in the consent decree are to continue design of all facilities so as to begin construction by September 2001, and complete construction by September 2006. The agreement to filter the City's Croton water system, which represents 10% of the City's average daily water needs and up to 30% during drought periods, stems from federal regulations requiring the filtration of all surface water (reservoir) drinking water supplies nationwide. The City sought and obtained a waiver of filtration for the much larger and less populated Catskill/Delaware water supply systems. Although the Croton water supply currently meets all health related drinking water quality regulations, there is concern over its ability in the future to continue to meet ever more stringent regulations without filtration.

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