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January 12, 2010


Michael Saucier/Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600

DEP To Perform Work on Rondout-West Branch Tunnel

Planned Shutdown To Last Approximately Two Weeks for Activities Related to Long-Term Repair

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced a planned shutdown of the Rondout-West Branch Tunnel (RWBT) portion of the Delaware Aqueduct in support of activities related to the long-term repair of the Tunnel.

“This is another key step toward the repair of the Delaware Aqueduct,” said Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway. “Repairing the Tunnel is crucial to the reliability and long-term sustainability of New York City’s water infrastructure, and improving that infrastructure is a key goal of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC.”

The Rondout-West Branch Tunnel is part of the Delaware Aqueduct which, at 85 miles is the world’s longest continuous tunnel, and a vital component of the City’s drinking water supply system. The Aqueduct conveys drinking water from the Cannonsville, Neversink, Pepacton, and Rondout reservoirs to the City’s distribution system, and provides approximately 50 percent of the City’s daily water needs.

The shutdown will allow workers to install key pumping equipment necessary to ultimately repair the Aqueduct. Ahead of and during the shutdown, DEP will temporarily increase the amount of water available for release from its Delaware Basin Reservoirs as part of the Flexible Flow Management Plan. Releases from the City’s Delaware Reservoirs have been governed by the Plan since it was approved by the Supreme Court Decree Parties in October 2007. The Plan is intended to provide a more adaptive means for managing the Cannonsville, Pepacton, and Neversink reservoirs.

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. DEP has invested over $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs — including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council — that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. New York City’s water is delivered from the Catskill, Delaware,   and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and are comprised of 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. The DEP police protect the watershed and its facilities, including seven wastewater treatment plants.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600