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Coney Island wastewater facility receives $110M upgrade

Treating sewage in southern Brooklyn will gain efficiency

July 6, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced on Wednesday that work is under way on a $110 million reliability and energy efficiency upgrade at the Coney Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility in southern Brooklyn.  

Despite the name, the facility is not in Coney Island per se, but on the eastern Sheepshead Bay waterfront, separated from Gerritsen Beach by the Plumb Beach channel.

As part of the project, a new main sewage pump system will be installed that will consume 20 percent less electricity and increase system reliability and resiliency.  This operational efficiency is expected to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 500 metric tons, the equivalent of taking 109 passenger cars off the road. 

These upgrades are also slated to yield an annual savings of nearly a quarter of a million dollars in operating costs.  Construction began earlier this year and will be staged so that the facility continues to operate around the clock.  It is anticipated that the work will be completed in 2025.

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The Coney Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility serves a 15,087-acre drainage area in southern and central Brooklyn.  The facility manages wastewater influent flows of 110 million gallons per day during dry-weather flow, and a total maximum wet-weather flow of 220 million gallons per day.

This project will replace the Main Sewage Pumps (MSP) system, which was built in the 1980s and has operated continuously for more than 30 years.  The system and its associated motors, suction and discharge piping, valves, motor starters and associated electrical equipment and controls are due for replacement.   

The new electrical equipment will be housed in a room constructed inside the existing Pump and Power Building.  HVAC work includes air conditioning equipment for the new electrical room; replacement of louvers on the Pump and Power Building; and replacement of louvers, duct and exhaust fans in the Screenings Handling Building.  

To help construction while still maintaining facility operations, a submersible pump system will be installed in the existing subgrade wet wells in the courtyard area situated between the Pump and Power Building and the Screenings Handling Building.

Once completed, the upgraded MSP will provide reliable sewage pumping capacity for the next 30-plus years, improving public health and wastewater treatment reliability to the surrounding community, as well as improving the facility’s energy efficiency by 20 percent through engineering design improvements.

 “The Coney Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility cleans more than 110 million gallons of wastewater from nearly 600,000 Brooklyn residents every day of the year and protects the waterways and beaches in the area,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza.  

“At a time when more intense heat waves and stronger storms are becoming the norm, we must ensure our infrastructure is greener and more resilient to prepare for a warming world.  The new and improved Coney Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility meets both of these goals, and sets the standard for infrastructure across the city and state,” said Borough President Eric Adams. 

 “This important facility upgrade will not only decrease our climate-warming emissions, it will also provide much needed resilience to our Central and South Brooklyn communities in the face of more extreme weather and sea-level rise due to the climate crisis,” said Congressmember Yvette D. Clarke.   

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.3 million in New York City. 

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