Three Department of Environmental Protection projects, totaling more than $677,000, will be constructed in Queens to reduce combined sewer overflows and improve water quality in New York Harbor.
DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway announced the projects last Thursday, noting that they will alleviate overflows during heavy rainstorms when the sewer system sometimes reaches capacity and discharges stormwater and wastewater into the city’s waterways.
“This new program enables the public to participate directly in cleaning our waterways and beautifying neighborhoods,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “We can’t wait for these projects to be built.”
The city plans to spend $1.5 billion over the next 20 years to reduce the sewer overflows by partnering with community organizations, businesses and nonprofit groups to address stormwater runoff on private property.
Following is a summary of the projects in Queens.
• AWISCO Welding Supplies at 55-15 43rd St. in Maspeth will build a green roof on its facility that will manage more than 390,000 gallons of stormwater a year and will reduce combined sewer overflow to Newtown Creek.
• The Bowne House Historical Society, which manages the historic Bowne House, circa 1661, at 37-01 Bowne St. in Flushing, will manage approximately 130,000 gallons of stormwater runoff a year from the street into a sidewalk bioswale that will filter the water.
Bioswales are low-lying areas created by planting vegetation tolerant to dry and wet conditions that removes silt from surface runoff water. The Bowne House project will reduce combined sewer overflow to the Flushing Creek.
• Queens College at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing will design three areas on the campus to reduce CSOs to the Flushing Creek by using porous concrete and rain gardens. The project will manage over 700,000 gallons of stormwater a year.
The methods to be used will infiltrate and retain water using native plants and trees. The Queens College Alumni Fund will provide $75,000 in matching funds for the $375,000 project.
The three Queens projects are among 15 throughout the city named in the 2011 Green Infrastructure Grant Program.