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New York City’s Wastewater

New York City’s 14 wastewater treatment plants together treat 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater daily. Our system combines sanitary flow, created each time a New Yorker turns on a tap, runs a washing machine or flushes a toilet, and runoff that enters our sewers whenever it rains or snows. This complex system quietly does a job we simply can’t live without. This section  provides an in-depth look at New York City's wastewater treatment process. Topics include the testing of New York City waterways, pollution control programs, beneficial use of biosolids, and how you can make a difference.

State of the Sewers

State of the Sewers
The State of the Sewers report provides an overview of how the City’s sewer system works, DEP’s approach to inspection, cleaning, and repair of the system, a breakdown of the most recurrent causes of sewer blockages, a look at the new employee training facility and safety programs, how advanced analytics, software, and mapping tools are being used to target problematic areas and hydraulic modeling is guiding designs for future capital projects and citywide and borough by borough performance analytics.
2018 State of the Sewers report (PDF)
2017 State of the Sewers report (PDF)
2016 State of the Sewers report (PDF)
2013 State of the Sewers report (PDF)
2012 State of the Sewers report (PDF)

Owls Head Wastewater Treatment Plant

New York’s Wastewater Treatment System
The amazing treatment system that cleans our wastewater consists of: over 6,000 miles of sewer pipes; 135,000 sewer catch basins; over 495 permitted outfalls for the discharge of combined sewer overflows (CSOs); 95 wastewater pumping stations that transport it to 14 wastewater treatment plants located throughout the 5 boroughs.
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Safe Disposal of Harmful Products

Residential and commercial guidelines for preventing the discharge of fats, oil grease into public sewers.

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Biosolids Management Program

New York City produces approximately 1,200 tons of biosolids every day from its fourteen water pollution control plants. In 1988, ocean disposal of biosolids was banned by the federal government and New York City was required to find alternative land-based use for this material.

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Significant Non-compliance List

DEP is required to publish a list of establishments in New York City that were in significant non-compliance with pretreatment standards and other wastewater requirements.

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