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July 27, 2010


Farrell Sklerov / Michael Saucier (718) 595-6600

DEP Completes Boiceville Wastewater Treatment Plant

Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway today announced the completion of a new wastewater treatment plant and sewer and stormwater system for the hamlet of Boiceville in Ulster County that will help protect water quality in the Catskill watershed. Construction of the 7,398-square-foot wastewater treatment plant, a new pumping station and approximately 3.5 miles of sewer mains will replace onsite septic systems serving 126 residential and commercial properties in Boiceville, including three schools in the Onteora School District. The plant can treat up to 75,000 gallons of wastewater a day. DEP funded the $12 million project, which was managed by the Catskill Watershed Corporation – a regional not-for-profit established in 1997 to administer water quality protection and economic development programs in the Catskill and Delaware watersheds. DEP will also fund the majority of the operating costs of the new plant, though customers in the sewer district are responsible for a percentage of the costs. Residents and businesses can begin hooking up to the new sewer system this month.

"Preventing contaminants from reaching our water resources is critical to maintaining the quality of our drinking water," said Commissioner Holloway. "With a new wastewater treatment plant, pumping station and sewer system, Boiceville residents will no longer need to use aging septic systems, which can sometimes fail and release pathogens into our water supply. Instead, wastewater from these 126 properties will flow to a state-of-the-art treatment plant that will protect the water supply of nine million New Yorkers, and improve the quality of life for local residents. I want to thank the Catskill Watershed Corporation for overseeing this vital project, and for their continued partnership administering programs that preserve the character of Catskill communities as well as protect the quality of the region's water bodies."

"The project in Boiceville has been a productive partnership between the Town of Olive, CWC and the City of New York," said Town of Olive Supervisor Berndt Leifeld, a critical partner in bringing this project to fruition. "Bringing wastewater treatment to Boiceville will help maintain the community character and result in improved water quality in the watershed."

The new wastewater treatment plant – located on Route 28, just west of the intersection of Route 28 and Route 28A – will help protect water quality in the Catskill watershed, especially Esopus Creek. The Catskill system provides, on average, 40% of the approximately one billion gallons of drinking water that are delivered to the City each day. The Catskill system consists of two reservoirs – Schoharie and Ashokan — located west of the Hudson River in Ulster, Schoharie, Delaware and Greene Counties. Water leaves the Schoharie Reservoir via the 18-mile Shandaken Tunnel, which empties into the Esopus Creek and then travels 22 miles through the Esopus to the Ashokan Reservoir before entering the 75-mile-long Catskill Aqueduct, which delivers the water to the Hillview Reservoir in Westchester County before it enters City Tunnels Number 1, 2 and 3.

The project is part of DEP's watershed protection program to ensure that the Catskill/Delaware system remains unfiltered. Failing septic systems are potential sources of pathogens that can enter the City's water supply. Rehabilitation and repair of failing septic systems, or the replacement of septics with modern wastewater treatment plants, reduces the levels of contaminants and pathogens in treated wastewater that is discharged in the watershed.

Watershed protection is considered the best way of maintaining drinking water quality over the long term. New York City's program, one of the most comprehensive in the world, has been so successful at protecting the integrity of its water supply that the Environmental Protection Agency awarded the City a 10-year Filtration Avoidance Determination in 2007. Since 1997, the City has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs, including nearly $55 million to help homeowners repair or replace failing septic systems, and nearly $125 million to construct new wastewater infrastructure in communities with concentrated areas of substandard septic systems. The success of these programs is a main reason why New York City remains one of only five large cities in the country that is not required to filter the majority of its drinking water.

DEP manages the City's water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. Approximately 1,000 DEP employees live and work in the watershed communities as scientists, engineers, surveyors, and administrative professionals, and perform other critical responsibilities. New York City's water is delivered from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and comprises 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. The DEP police protect the watershed and its facilities, including seven City-owned wastewater treatment plants.

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