NEW YORK CITY – The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) will be taking the Delaware Aqueduct out of service for roughly five to eight months, beginning in Autumn of …
NEW YORK CITY – The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) will be taking the Delaware Aqueduct out of service for roughly five to eight months, beginning in Autumn of 2022, in order to make necessary repairs to two separate leaks.
First put into service in 1944, the Delaware Aqueduct is vital to the over 10 million residents of New York City and neighboring communities, allowing an influx of over 1.1 billion gallons of clean, drinking water. With the aqueduct stretching 85 miles long, it is the largest water supply system in the United States.
The three separate watershed systems that feed the aqueduct are Croton, Delaware and Catskill.
Three of the reservoir within the Delaware watershed system are located in Neversink, Pepacton, and Cannonsville, and were built on the headwaters of the Delaware River.
These reservoirs feed into Rondout Reservoir, and from there, into the aqueduct.
However, this massive lifeline into NYC has sustained critical leaks in two locations, which are near the Hudson River in Newburgh and in the hamlet of Wawarsing in Ulster County.
These leaks have been under the watch of the NYCDEP for the past two decades, with construction beginning about 10 years ago.
To plug these leaks, the NYCDEP must cease water flow into the Delaware Aqueduct for five to eight months to connect a new bypass tunnel to the aqueduct on both sides of the Hudson River. The aqueduct is set to be out of commission beginning in October of 2022 and estimated to be reinstated in the spring of 2023.
This bypass tunnel is being constructed to alleviate the waterflow of the Newburgh leak, which will connect to other portions of the Delaware Aqueduct while repairs are being made. This bypass tunnel is two and a half miles long, resting roughly 600 feet below the Hudson River.
For the Delaware system reservoirs, the NYCDEP will change operations both before and after the shutdown.
These changes will cause the three Delaware Basin reservoirs to not convey water to Rondout Reservoir during the shutdown.
“More than 9 million New Yorkers count on us to provide them with high-quality water every single day of the year—without fail—and this complex repair of the Delaware Aqueduct will ensure we meet that essential mission for generations to come,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We are grateful to the skilled engineers, construction experts and local laborers who completed the concrete lining of the bypass tunnel and kept the largest repair in the history of New York City’s water supply system moving forward on budget and on schedule.”
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