Part of a regular capital upgrade project, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Design and Constriction (DDC) announced last week their plan for a $14 million upgrade to roughly 13 miles of water mains in Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill and Far Rockaways beginning in March.
Carter Strickland, DEP commissioner, explained that the city is focused on maintaining the same level of integrity on improving water quality, pressure and distribution throughout the city.
“Public health and future growth of New York City are contingent on having an adequate supply of high-quality water,” Strickland explained.
The project will replace dead-end mains with looped mains to ensure a constantly circulating water supply, as well as replace the current 20-inch, 12-inch and 8-inch diameter water mains, most of which are currently 60-years-old.
“We will ensure adequate water pressure for firefighting, basic sanitation and clean drinking water for these Queens neighborhoods for decades to come,” Strickland said.
The DEP has spent $10.5 billion to upgrade the water supply and distribution in the city over the last decade, which provides more than one-billion gallons of water every day to over 9 million residents.
While this overhaul is just one of 217 other projects the DEP currently has in the works, they have a budget of $921 million for similar projects in Queens scheduled over the next 10 years.
David Burney, commissioner of DDC, the agency managing the project, is confident that replacing the 60-year-old cast iron pipelines will not only improve the current system, but it will also provide for a safer future for these neighborhoods.
“This will be a significant upgrade for the area’s water system,” Burney said. “We look forward to working with the DEP to complete this and other vital infrastructure improvements for the borough.”
Both the DDC and DEP are hopeful the project can reach its completion by the end of 2015.