In reaction to the sewage and storm water overflow problem in New York, city officials have announced that they will indeed commit $2.4 billion in funds to help alleviate the problem in the future. Through both private and public funds, New York State and City organizations will use environmental techniques to combat the overflow. Announced yesterday, the plan will help improve the quality of water in New York City, which affects drinking water, boating, swimming and fishing.

green design, eco design, sustainable design, sewage overflow, sewage treatment, environmental infrastructure, New York Waterways

The plan, which will use plants, soil, and environmental infrastructure, was announced in the fall of 2010, but lacked the funds to move forward. Because New York’s sewage and storm water are carried in one pipe, diverting water before it reaches the sewer is the best way to keep the flow under wraps. Filtering grasses and plants, porous pavement which retains rainwater, bioswales, and absorbing soil are all cost effective, environmentally friendly methods of preventing overflow, and they are also supported by the Environmental Protection Agency.

This plan also marks the first time that New York State has approved of an environmental plan to treat overflow, and it is the first time the state has allowed the city to use infrastructure to meet federal water quality standards.. The preventative green infrastructure will be built in addition to the existing traditional underground water storage tanks that have been used in the past but have a limited volume capacity. The projects will be built near Flushing Bay, Newtown Creek, and the Gowanus Canal — the two latter sites are both facing federal Superfund cleanups.

Combined with the existing tanks and sewage system, about 12 billion gallons of contaminated water will be kept from the area waterways. $187 million of the promised funds will be invested over the next three years, with the total plan to be completed in 18 years.

Via New York Times