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March 19, 2015

Contact:, (718) 595-6600

City Begins $2.1 Million Storm Sewer Installation in Glen Oaks, Queens

New Storm Sewers and Catch Basins Will Help Alleviate Excessive Ponding and Drain Stormwater from Local Streets

Photos of the Project are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Peña- Mora today announced that work has begun on a project to install storm sewers in the Glen Oaks neighborhood of Queens. By using input from local elected officials, community groups and leveraging advances in GIS and hydraulic modeling technology, DEP engineers have been able to arrive at faster, more focused solutions for areas that lack comprehensive drainage systems. In this case, nearly a half-mile of new storm sewers and 31 street level catch basins will be installed and connected along Elkmont Avenue and 251st Street. The new drainage system will replace the existing seepage basins along Elkmont Avenue, which were installed as an interim stormwater solution to give engineers additional time to develop a complete drainage strategy for the area. The new stormwater management infrastructure will drain towards an existing storm sewer located at Union Turnpike. While the roadway is opened to install the storm sewers, DEP will also replace nearly a half-mile of distribution water mains to ensure that the growing community receives a reliable supply of high quality drinking water for decades to come. The $2.1 million project, which is being funded by DEP and managed by DDC, is expected to be completed by the summer. It is one of a number of new initiatives DEP is undertaking to help manage stormwater and alleviate local roadway flooding in areas of the city that do not have a fully built-out sewer system.
“This investment in Glen Oaks will help improve roadway drainage, reduce localized flooding and protect the property of neighborhood residents,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “Building out the drainage system in areas with inadequate stormwater infrastructure is a priority for DEP. Over the next 10 years, we have committed an additional $380 million to continue to build out the sewer system throughout Queens and we will continue to work with community leaders to identify locations where complementary, near-term projects will help to bring targeted and more immediate relief.”

“We are implementing cost effective solutions for extending our City’s sewer infrastructure with some of the most innovative engineers, designers and construction managers in the nation,” said DDC’s Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Pena-Mora. “This $2.1 million project is one of a number of initiatives where we are collaborating with DEP to help provide more immediate stormwater relief in areas that are most adversely affected by underdeveloped drainage systems.”

“Every day, my District Office receives complaints about ponding and flooding on our City streets, causing a multitude of problems for motorists, pedestrians and homeowners. This project is an important step toward fixing this issue for the residents of Glen Oaks. By investing in new storm sewers, catch basins and water mains, we can reduce flooding and improve the quality of drinking water for Glen Oaks residents. I applaud the Departments of Environmental Protection and Design and Construction for making these upgrades in a timely fashion that will have a tremendous impact on the quality of life for residents of Northeast Queens and Glen Oaks,” said State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside).

“I am hopeful that this project will bring improvements in water delivery and storm drainage to an area of Eastern Queens that has suffered for too long with chronic flooding,” said Council Member Mark S. Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens).

“After reading the statement on the installation of "storm sewers" in the Glen Oaks area of Queens, I was very pleased to see that the DEP and DDC will be undertaking this project to help the residents of the area to relieve the flooding that has long been an issue,” said Michael P. Castellano President, Lost Community Civic Association. I thank Commissioner Emily Lloyd for her insight in working to end a situation that has caused problems for the residents and drivers in this area.”

Unlike catch basins, which connect to sewer lines, seepage basins are designed to collect stormwater as it is naturally absorbed by the soil. They are installed as a temporary measure to provide immediate relief in flood prone areas where neighborhood growth has outpaced the expansion of the City’s drainage system. As seepage basins reach the end of their useful life, DEP engineers are developing plans in topographically appropriate areas to strategically install catch basins and storm sewers that will drain to existing sewers, thereby expanding the reach of the City’s drainage system. The $2.1 million project in Glen Oaks includes the installation of 1,985 linear feet of new storm sewers, 31 new catch basins, and 19 new manholes, which will drain into to an existing 72-inch storm sewer on Union Turnpike. In addition, 2,419 linear feet of existing unlined distribution cast iron mains will be replaced with new ductile iron mains. Work is taking place along Elkmont Avenue from 250th Street to 252nd Street; 251st Street from Elkmont Avenue to Union Turnpike; and Shiloh Avenue from 251st Street to 252nd Street.

As the multi-year, $6 billion effort to construct a comprehensive storm sewer system for underserved areas of Queens continues through the City’s capital construction program, DEP has initiated a number of smaller, targeted projects that can be advanced more rapidly and will help to manage stormwater and reduce flooding in the interim. To identify the locations that are most prone to flooding, DEP consulted with local elected officials and community groups, and analyzed 311 reports. Engineers then conducted field investigations during both wet and dry weather. The analysis considered the topography of the neighborhood, the hydraulic capacity and location of existing storm sewers, the relative elevations of existing sewers, and the nature and severity of the stormwater management challenges to identify specific areas where the strategic installation of storm sewers and catch basins could help to alleviate flooding.

The first three locations identified for upgrades and where work has already been completed include 113th Avenue between 156th and 157th Streets, 111th Avenue between 155th and 158th Streets, and 119th Avenue between 192nd Street and 195th Streets. Analysis of additional locations is currently underway and DEP expects to approve additional projects in 2015.

DEP is also working with DDC to upgrade sewers and water mains in the nearby neighborhood of Bayside. The $20 million project will add nearly 4.3 miles of water mains to the area’s distribution system, which will ensure a reliable supply of high quality drinking water for the growing population of Northeast Queens. The upgrade has an anticipated completion date for the summer of 2016. DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion to upgrade water mains citywide, with approximately $380 million dedicated to improving the distribution system in Queens. Over the next 10 years DEP has budgeted similar amounts to ensure that the drinking water delivery system remains in a state of good repair.

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. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which will allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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