NYC's Plan to Meet the Water Quality Challenge

by Michael J. Bartos, Jr., (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Editor; CIVIL ENGINEERING—ASCE, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 11, Pg. 80-84

Document Type: Feature article


Most parts of New York City's waterways do not meet state standards. Combined sewer overflows cause the discharge of raw sewage. The City's ancient sewer system is deteriorating. New York must cease ocean-dumping of sludge by 1982. These are some of the City's problems, and they are compounded by the City's severe financial straits of the past three years. To solve them, the City will upgrade all existing secondary treatment plants and construct two new ones, all to provide secondary treatment, and will implement a phased plan to disinfect combined sewer overflows. As an alternative to ocean-dumping, the City will compost its sludge and apply the product to the land; the long-term plan is for a regional pyrolysis program. Three actions to alleviate financial difficulties have been suggested: (1)Release frozen state and federal grant money by meeting their plant O&M personnel requirements; (2)begin a user-charge system based on metering water-use, and ensure money collected is used for pollution control, not diverted to general municipal funds; and (3)cut down the city government's fiscal ineffectiveness.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Combined sewers | Overflow | Seas and oceans | Sludge | Financial management | Municipal water | Waterways | New York | United States

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