Clean water could mean New York City contractors will clean up.
The New York State Department of Health has given the city another 10-year waiver to deliver clean yet unfiltered water from the Catskills and Delaware. The Filtration Avoidance Determination includes $1 billion earmarked to ensure the water’s veracity — which will make its way to contractors who’ll help to fix septic systems, upgrade wastewater treatment and prevent farm runoff from polluting the watershed, among other programs.
These and other projects will help the city save big: $10 billion to construction a filtration facility and $100 million per year to operate it, compared to the $2.7 billion that will have been spent since 1993, when the first waiver was issued, and including the newly issued Filtration Avoidance Determination.
Contractors will work with partner organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corp (CWC) and the Watershed Agricultural Council. These and other entities run programs like the one that has been earmarked $150 million to fortify eroding streams; another, worth $85 million, pays homeowners 100% of the cost to repair or replace faulty septic systems.
To be sure, these programs aren’t new. “The vast majority have been in place 20-plus years,” says Adam Bosch, spokesman for NYC Environmental Protection and the Bureau of Water Supply. But they’ll still offer new opportunities for contractors.
“We anticipate soliciting proposals from contractors for several potential community wastewater projects in the coming years, as well as possible flood hazard mitigation projects,” says CWC’s Diane Galusha.