Billion$ Over Budget, New Water Filtration Plant Springs Leak?
(Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- The Croton Water Filtration Plant, the city's new $3.2 billion water purification hub under Van Cortland Park, may already be experiencing equipment problems after a major flood was reported.
Offering few details, Edward Timbers, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), downplayed the incident, stating, "On background there was a minor leak. No impact to the water distribution system."
However, a recent visit to the reservoir that should feed millions of gallons of water each hour into the new purification plant-- had recently been at least partially drained.
Officials at the FDNY reported that 60 firefighters from 12 units responded to 3701 Jerome Avenue at 9:31 a.m. on September 3. The water leak was brought under control at 10:57 a.m. Officials discounted one report of an explosion at the site and added that no injuries were reported.
According to one source who declined to be identified, explained, "They said somebody was doing a test and the controls didn't show that the water was flowing."
The source continued, "They brought in extra pumps and they got it done. It was no big deal, they called the fire department. You know they have a thing where the fire department is automatically called."
The Croton Water Filtration Plant reportedly came online in early May and was expected to provide 100 million gallons of water each day to parts of the Bronx and Manhattan.
Some skeptics say the project was rushed to completion and became operational just two weeks before a $65 million penalty was to be levied against the city for a project that was finished 9-years past it's expected completion date.
In a follow-up interview, the source stated that a DEP worker told him that the plant was never actually brought online, explaining, "He said that the thing has never been online and that they keep taking water out and they put all the chemicals in it and they dump it right back into the sewer."
That claim could not be verified as repeated requests for additional information from the DEP on the incident and the current status of the filtration plant have been ignored.
Officials at City Hall have also refused to confirm or deny the sources claims.
Father Richard Gorman, a longtime member of the Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee said of the incident, "As far as I know the plant is in operation. It's my understanding what happened in September was there was some kind of incident, but they said to us and the exact words they used were, 'out of an abundance of caution' they asked the plant to be evacuated for awhile, but after a short time everything was back to normal."
"I have to be honest with you," Gorman continued, "I'd be kind of surprised if there was any kind of real emergency,” due to the open house being held at the Jerome Park Reservoir on October 3 and 4.
The office of the New York City Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is now looking into the allegation.
#Croton Water Filtration Plant #DEP #Jerome Park Reservoir #Bronx #New York #Bronx News