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December 19, 2012


Adam Bosch (845) 334-7868

Department of Environmental Protection Completes Installation of First Siphon at Gilboa Dam

Siphons are Critical Component of Dam Rehabilitation Project;

DEP has also Stopped Special Diversions through the Shandaken Tunnel and Operational Releases from the Ashokan Reservoir

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that contractors have finished installing the first of two siphons at the Gilboa Dam. The siphon was successfully put into operation this morning. DEP has also stopped the special diversions through the Shandaken Tunnel and the operational releases from Ashokan Reservoir that allowed for the installation of the siphon.

The siphon is a metal pipe – 6 feet in diameter at its widest point – that moves water out of the reservoir, over the Dam and into the creek below the Dam. Contractors have also begun the installation of a second siphon at the Gilboa Dam. The completion date of the second siphon will depend largely on the amount of rainfall the area receives in the coming weeks.

Each siphon is capable of releasing 250 million gallons of water a day from the Schoharie Reservoir into Schoharie Creek. DEP will use the initial siphon to help prevent the reservoir from spilling, thereby allowing workers to install the second siphon.

The siphons are critical to the rehabilitation of Gilboa Dam. The Dam is currently undergoing a full-scale $400 million rehabilitation that will include reinforcing it with 234 million pounds of concrete, reconstructing the spillway, and installing a new release tunnel around the Dam from the Schoharie Reservoir to the Schoharie Creek. Reconstruction of the Gilboa Dam is expected to be completed in 2014, while the new release tunnel is expected to be finished in 2019. The two siphons will be removed once the release tunnel is operational.

The siphons will remove water from the reservoir and allow contractors to access portions of the Dam that might otherwise be obstructed by water pouring over the spillway. The siphons will also help DEP meet its commitment of removing water from the reservoir equal to 50 percent of the snow pack during winter months, while also providing additional flood protection.

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, as well as residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. The water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that are located up to 125 miles from the City and include 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $68 million payroll and $153 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with over $13 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 www.nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nycwater.

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