On April 23, contractors began a three-month-long, round-the-clock push to start diverting water from one of the main aqueducts serving New York City into the $1.3-billion Catskill-Delaware Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility. Their challenge is to direct a decades-old, gravity-flow stream through the new plant while slowing it to a rate compatible with UV treatment, all without interrupting the delivery of 85% of the water supply for nine million residents of the city and surrounding areas.
"We can't afford to have anything go wrong. There are a lot of people depending on this," says George Schmitt, accountable manager, Bureau of Engineering, Design & Construction, New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP).