Construction to connect Catskill, Delaware aqueducts begins in the US

DEP aqueduct

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has commenced a $21.2m project to connect the Catskill and Delaware aqueducts in the US.

Together, the two aqueducts provide about one billion gallons of water each day to New York City from six different reservoirs in Catskill.

The project is part of the DEP's Water for the Future Program, which aims to provide clean, safe and reliable water for New York's nine million-plus inhabitants for decades.

As part of the programme, the department is required to repair a portion of the Delaware aqueduct, which supplies almost half of New York city's daily drinking water.

In order to carry out the repair work, the tunnel would be temporarily shut down between 2021 and 2022, while the DEP plans to supply an uninterrupted water supply during the repairs, through a combination of conservation programmes and supplemental water sources.

As part of its plan, the department will connect the two aqueducts and perform work on the Catskill aqueduct tunnel lining to optimise its capacity, so that it can be used during the shutdown of the Delaware aqueduct.

DEP's interconnect project at the Delaware aqueduct's Shaft 4 in Gardiner, Ulster County, will allow the department to shift nearly 365 million gallons each day from the Delaware aqueduct into the Catskill aqueduct.

The project will also provide an additional operational flexibility and a tool to reduce turbidity in the water supply system after storms.

New York City Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Carter Strickland said the project will help the department to plan the supply of high quality water to the New Yorkers.

"By connecting the Delaware Aqueduct to the Catskill Aqueduct, DEP will have another mechanism to help it deliver the highest quality drinking water from across its supply system," Strickland said.

Image: DEP's interconnect project will provide a reliable water service during the Delaware aqueduct repair work. Photo: Courtesy of DEP.