DEP work may spare Sedgwick Ave

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After the Department of Environmental Protection changed the route of a pipeline it planned to install as part of the Croton Water Filtration Plant project, it now says the entire project might be avoidable.

The original plan, presented by the DEP in 2006, was to install a 6-inch force main sewer to pipe by-product of chemicals used to treat raw water down Webster Avenue, from the Croton Water Treatment Plant in Van Cortlandt Park to Hunt’s Point for treatment. The project was to take up to two years and involve digging a three-and-a-half-foot wide and four-and-a-half-foot deep trench down Webster Avenue. 

But the DEP’s contractor encountered old trolley tracks under Webster Avenue last summer and the projected cost ballooned from $18 million to $31 million. DEP project manager Bernard Daly said if that route was pursued the price might have risen to as much as $50 million.

The DEP then looked for another place to install the pipeline and announced in January it was considering a route along Sedgwick Avenue. 

Residents, community board members and local politicians expressed outrage, saying work on the mostly two-lane residential street would be more disruptive than on Webster Avenue, a four-lane commercial street. 

At the May 24 Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee meeting, DEP’s project engineer Lauren Competello said “We are very hopeful we will not need a force main at all.”  

Ms. Competello said the DEP is developing a strategy for using the city’s existing sewer system to pipe out chemical by-product from the Croton Water Treatment Plant — a $3 billion facility being built in the southeast corner of Van Cortlandt Park that will provide the city with as much as 30 percent of its drinking water. 

She said the DEP has been running worst-case scenario tests to see if the city’s sewer system can handle the by-product created when the Croton facility is treating the maximum amount of water.

She said the results have been “quite promising.”

“We heard you loud and clear about Sedgwick Avenue,” said Mr. Daly at the Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee Meeting on April 27.

Ms. Competello said she expects to have a final plan at the June Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee meeting.

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