Delaware Aqueduct

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For the bridge, see Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct.
Building in Yonkers

The Delaware Aqueduct is the newest of the New York City aqueducts. It takes water from the Rondout Reservoir through the Chelsea Pump Station, the West Branch Reservoir, and the Kensico Reservoir, ending at the Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers, New York.

The aqueduct was constructed between 1939 and 1945, and carries approximately half of the New York City water supply of 1.3 billion US gallons (4,900,000 m3) per day. The Delaware Aqueduct leaks up to 36 million US gallons (140,000 m3) per day.[1] A $1 billion project to repair the leaking is scheduled to begin in January 2013. [2]

At 85 miles (137 km) long and 13.5 feet (4.1 m) wide, the Delaware Aqueduct is the world's longest tunnel.

Leaks[edit]

Since the late 1970s, the New York Department of Environmental Protection has been monitoring two leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct that collectively release between 10 and 36 million US gallons (38,000 and 136,000 m3) of water per day.[3] These leaks have caused many problems with flooding and drinking water contamination, particularly for residents of Wawarsing, New York.[4] And not just in the town of Wawarsing. In the town of Newburgh, 35 miles southeast, residents thought that a stream bubbling out of a wetlands was a natural artesian well. In reality, the water was coming out of a 36-square-foot tunnel carved out by the force of water blasting from a crack in the aqueduct buried 650 feet underground. Combined with the leak in Wawarsing, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection admitted in the early 1990s that the aqueduct was leaking at a rate of up to 35 million gallons a day. That’s enough water to supply nearly half a million people a day.The department will begin site preparation for the 2.5-mile Rondout-West Branch Bypass Tunnel, which will allow it to address the leak problem.

"The number's going to be $1.5 billion to do the entire program to make the fix," said Paul Rush, deputy commissioner of the DEP. "About two-thirds of it, $1 billion, will actually go into construction a bypass tunnel around the location with the most significant leakage in Roseton, and to do additional concrete grouting in the Wawarsing section."[5]

New York bypass[edit]

The city is constructing a bypass around the location with the most significant leakage, which at some point will require the entire aqueduct to be shut down for eight months.[citation needed]

The new bypass tunnel will be one of the most complicated undertakings in the agency’s history. Bored deep beneath the Hudson, it will create a bypass around the worst of the leaks.[citation needed]

Construction began last November and is expected to be finished sometime in 2021. At that time, the entire aqueduct will be shut down to allow the bypass to be connected, and it will be dewatered so that the leaks in Wawarsing can be fixed. Since that will deprive New York City of nearly half its water supply, the DEP is currently in the process of making improvements to other parts of the system to make up for the reduced water. The city is making improvements to Catskill Aqueduct, will bring the Croton watershed back online, tap into wells in Queens, and is pushing New Yorkers to use less water during the repairs.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bypass Planned for Leaky New York Aqueduct". New York Times. November 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-20. "The tunnel, to be built under the Hudson River and parts of Dutchess and Orange Counties, will address a problem that has daunted the city since leaks were first discovered in the Delaware Aqueduct in 1988: some 15 to 35 million US gallons (57,000 to 132,000 m3) of water, coming down from the Catskills, have been escaping daily through cracks." 
  2. ^ http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Work-Begins-1-Billion-Repair-Aqueduct-Tunnel-187652541.html
  3. ^ "Preparation Underway to Fix Leak in Delaware Aqueduct" (Press release). NYC Department of Environmental Protection. March 6, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Hinchey Urges New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection To Comprehensively Address The Impact Of Leaking Delaware Aqueduct On Wawarsing" (Press release). Congressman Maurice Hinchey. July 11, 2008. Retrieved Oct 16, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Why New Yorkers should be worried about their water supply". August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Ascher, Kate (2005). The Works: Anatomy of a City. Canada: Penguin Group. ISBN 1-59420-071-8. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°16′56″N 73°40′04″W / 41.282317°N 73.667908°W / 41.282317; -73.667908