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Local 3 Members Insuring Clean Water For Future New Yorkers The Croton Water Treatment Plant Largest Water Plant in NYS
Aeriel view of the Croton Water Treatment Plant being constructed in Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx.
The New York Department of Environmental Protection has been in the process of building the largest single construction plant in the history of New York City. At the peak of construction there were over 450 Local 3 electricians employed at the site. Seeing all of the conduit and wire which has been run throughout the plant you can see the pride in everyone’s efforts to get this job completed.
Pictured are many of the members of Local 3 who have worked on the electrical installations that will insure clean water for New Yorkers into the 21st Century.
On Tuesday February 21, 2012, Assistant Business Manager Joseph Santigate and Business Representative Benjamin Arana visited the Croton Water Treatment Plant in the Bronx. All members of Local 3 joined together and took a group photo. In the photo also included was Assistant Business Manager Joseph Santigate, Recording Secretary Thomas Cleary, Examining Board member Tom Haran, Business Representative Benjamin Arana, and Shop Steward Michael McMahon.
After the photo, Assistant Business Manager Joseph Santigate and Business Representative Benjamin Arana walked the job site to see how the job was progressing.
Conduit work installed by Local 3 members.
Current Plant Today
The Croton Water Treatment Plant is located in The Bronx. It is currently being constructed over three acres squared and is 100 feet below ground. Upon its completion the four-story building will be buried underneath the Mosholu Golf Course. This plant will connect the gravity feed north reservoir pipelines and deliver clean filtered water south to supply NYC with clean drinking water.
This plant will use state-of-the-art digital automation to control 15,000 I/O points throughout the plant to manage water treatment using pumps, mixers, aeration, as well as heating and ventilation. The treatments involved will include dissolved air flotation, filtering, ultra violet light, chlorine and fluoride. Also the plant will have, on site, main control rooms, chemical storage facilities, on site laboratories, sub stations, administration offices and several guard locations.
Con Edison is supplying four 800 amp, 13,200 volt feeders that are being stepped down to 4,160 volts. The 4,160 volt feeders are then distributed to 6 secondary unit substations throughout the plant for 480 and 120 volt equipment throughout the plant. Some of the many lines run throughout the plant have more than a thousand feet before they reach their destination. In addition there are 12 4,160 volt VFD’s that will control the 12,600 horsepower pumps that will bring the water in and out of the plant. For emergencies there is a 4,000 amp diesel generator which is on standby in case of a power failure.
Safety is of the upmost importance and safety liaison Thomas Haran has been appointed to be on site. His job is to ensure that all members of Local 3 are working the safest they can, each and every day. Continued communication between the DEP, construction managers and the Local 3 contractors ensures that all things on the job run smoothly.
Most safety regulations surpass OSHA standards and are strictly enforced. All workers on the job have the OSHA 10 certification and the supervisors on the job are being expected to have OSHA 30 certification. Many on-the-job certifications are being taught on site for job specified safety tasks. Zero injuries or reports have been made on site and the members of Local 3 have been recognized for having an “Outstanding Record of Safety.”
The three largest contractors are Schlesinger/Siemens Electric, EJ Electric, and Kleinberg Electric. Other Local 3 contractors on the job include Angel Electric, Gilston Electric, KND Electric, New York Power Electric and Smalls Electric. Each has an administration team who strictly enforces their LOTO System (Lockout Tag Out System.) Through this system all must test and safe out on all switches, breakers, or confined Space. LOTO box system is also logged on the construction manager’s web site. This ensures all know what is powered and what is locked out. Weekly dialogue between Local 3 contractors, the DEP, the construction managers and contractors which keeps all on site up-to-date with all hazards.
The NYC water supply comes from three primary sources: The Delaware, Catskill and Croton Water Supply Systems. The majority of these water systems is gravity feed from upstate and delivers water to storage reservoirs which balance water into reservoirs in Westchester County. The Catskill/Delaware System was placed into service in 1915. Its major function during normal operations is to receive water from all six Catskill and Delaware System Reservoirs and make the water supplies available for the fluctuating daily City demand of its consumers.
4” conduit runs that feed the various controls, switches and electrical systems that operate the newly constructed water treatment plant.
The Delaware System
The Delaware System was planned in the 1920’s and was constructed between 1936 and 1964. The Delaware Watershed System is the largest system which is 1,010 square miles. It is located west of the Catskill System and extends between 85 and 125 miles north of lower Manhattan. The Delaware System has three major reservoirs which are Cannonsville, Pepacton and Neversink, which are fed from branches of the Delaware River. From these reservoirs, three tunnels deliver water into the Roundout Reservoir.
The Delaware Aqueduct delivers all water 70 miles to the West Branch Reservoir which is located in the Croton System. The Delaware Aqueduct also proceeds south to the Kensico Reservoir and finally ends in the Hillview Reservoir. The Delaware System has a storage capacity of 326 billion gallons of water with a safe yield of 580 million gallons a day (mgd). The Delaware System accommodates approximately 55 percent of the city’s average drinking water demand.
The Catskill System
The Catskill System was constructed in two phases. In 1917, Phase 1 included the Ashokan, the Kensico Reservoir, the Hillview Reservoir, City Tunnel No. 1, and terminal Silver Lake Reservoir in Staten Island (which was replaced by the Silver Lake Tanks in 1971). In 1927 Phase 2 included the Shoharie Reservoir and the Shandaken Tunnel. The Catskill Watershed System is 571 square miles and is located 100 to 125 miles north of lower Manhattan.
Within the Catskill System the Schoharie Reservoir delivers water through the Shandaken Tunnel to the Esopus Creek and into the Ashokan Reservoir. The Catskill Aqueduct then delivers water from the Ashokan Reservoir and sends it 92 miles south to the Kensico Reservoir. From the Kensico Reservoir the Catskill Aqueduct delivers water to the Hillview Reservoir. The Catskill System has a storage capacity of 178 billion gallons of water and has a safe yield of 470 million gallons of water per day.
It accommodates approximately 35 percent of the City’s average demand for water per day.
Wall of control panels installed by Local 3 members.
The Croton System
The Old Croton Water Supply System was built in 1890. It is the oldest system and is the smallest system supplying the City. The Croton Watershed System is a total of 375 square miles. The Croton System provides 8 percent to upstate consumers that use City water. The remainder of the upstate demand is provided by the Catskill and Delaware water supplies. The Croton Watershed System consists of a series of interconnected reservoirs and lakes on the Croton River. These branches extend into Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties in New York and also in Fairfield County in Connecticut. The New Croton Reservoir is the southern-most of the 12 reservoirs and 3 controlled lakes of the Croton System. Jerome Park Reservoir is a distribution reservoir which is located at the downstream end of the system. This is where water enters the City’s distribution system. The Croton System provides a total storage capacity of 94.6 billion gallons and has a safe yield of 240 mgd. It supplies 10 percent of the City’s average daily consumption of water. During periods of droughts this system provides up to 30 percent of the in-city consumption.
The Kensico Reservoir is located approximately 30 miles north of Manhattan in the towns of Mount Pleasant, North Castle, and Harrison. The reservoir has a maximum storage capacity of 31 billion gallons of water. The Catskill and Delaware water supplies are delivered and held in the Kensico Reservoir for approximately 15 to 25 days before it is distributed to the City. This waiting period is to allow for additional time for settling out impurities, including solids and micro-organisms. As the water leaves the Kensico Reservoir at Shaft No. 18, the water is chlorinated for primary disinfection and fluorinated to reduce tooth decay. The water is then returned to the Catskill and Delaware Aqueducts and conveyed to the Hillview Reservoir.
The Hillview Reservoir is situated approximately 15 miles north of Manhattan in the City of Yonkers. It has a maximum storage capacity of approximately 929 million gallons of water of which 210 million gallons is usable under normal conditions. The Hillview Reservoir supplies water to the City distribution system through City Tunnels No. 1, 2, and 3. Hillview Reservoir serves to balance the inflows and outflows of water from the Kensico Reservoir with the hour-by-hour needs of the City.
History of this Plant
Originally a two-basin concept was envisioned. In 1905, the Jerome Park reservoir was completed. The West basin was finished and the East basin was officially abandoned in 1912. The City of New York anticipated that water filtration might someday be necessary to ensure that quality water could be delivered to consumers. The possibility of an east basin was eventually filled and graded. The east basin was turned over to the City for other uses. The land holds today Lehman College, Harris Park, and MTA Subway Yard, Bronx High School of Science, De Witt Clinton High School, and residential buildings.
Late in the 1960’s insect larvae in the Croton Distribution System provided the reason to restart planning for a Croton Treatment Facility. In 1970, the City of New York completed an engineering study of the future of the Croton Water Supply System. Jerome Park Reservoir was decided as the best location for building a Water Treatment Plant, based on economic, functionality, and operational considerations. A pilot plant Gate House No. 5 operated from 1974 to 1975 and from 1989-1992 the selected process on a large scale confirmed the use of Ozone-DE filtration as the most advantageous process. To comply to disinfectants by product rule DEP required testing and with it passing added biologically activated carbon (BAC) contractors.
In the 1980’s a number of pipe connections were made to the City water tunnels and main distributions to accommodate for the water treatment plant. The Jerome Park Reservoir added a divided wall partition in the reservoir into a raw water basin and an area for the water treatment plant. Throughout the 1990’s there were many studies and reviews which took place that involved the best interest of the City’s drinking water and this plant. Nine sites were looked at to locate construction of this plant; five were located in the Bronx and four were located in Westchester County. The preferred site and related facilities for the proposed site was decided to be built at the Mosholu Golf Course in The Bronx.
The City Planning Commission approved the proposal on June 30, 1999 and the NYC Council approved site recommendations on July 21, 1999. On February 8, 2001, New York State Court of Appeals determined that the State Legislature approval was required to use the Mosholu Golf Course site for the construction of the Croton Water Treatment Plant. Many members of The Bronx Acorn Electrical Club, the Santiago Iglesias Educational Society, and the Westchester Mechanics Association spent countless hours picketing, attending Local Community Board meetings and lobbying local politicians. Those who were involved to help push for this project to become a reality, made this job possible for us to work on today.