The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) owns and operates one of the largest wastewater collection and treatment systems in the world, with 14 wastewater resource recovery facilities and 96 pumping stations to convey storm water and wastewater to treatment. Many of these facilities are located in low-lying areas, as much of the system is gravity-fed, and along waterfronts. As a result, coastal flooding and storm surges pose a major risk for the City’s wastewater infrastructure.
During Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, flooding caused over $130 million in damages to wastewater facilities citywide. At that time, DEP had already been studying the impacts of climate change on wastewater resource recovery facilities, and in October 2103, completed the NYC Wastewater Resiliency Plan. This plan evaluated flood pathways and vulnerabilities, likelihoods and impacts of failures, and appropriate adaptation strategies for DEP wastewater facilities.
In order to address the at-risk facilities quickly without large scale, facility wide design contracts, DEP established the NYC Wastewater Resiliency Program to implement flood protection improvements. DEP has secured $161 million from the NYS Environmental Facility Corporation Storm Mitigation Loan Program to fund the Resiliency Program, thereby limiting the cost to rate payers.
The Tallman Island Wastewater Resource Recovery facility in Queens (see attached map) is included in the Resiliency program. The flood protection strategies proposed f0r this facility include reinforcing and water-proofing building walls and floor slabs, installing flood-proof equipment, and installing sump pumps to evacuate floodwaters from buildings.
Construction costs for flood protection at Tallman Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility are approximately $8 million. Design completion is scheduled for July 2019 and construction completion for August 2021.
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