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Inspection Work at Pepacton Reservoir Will Require Shutdowns of Release Into East Branch Delaware River

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will shut down its release valves at Pepacton Reservoir for three days in December to facilitate an underwater inspection of infrastructure at the reservoir. The release of water downstream into the East Branch Delaware River will be shut down for eight hours each day from Dec. 6–8. The shutdowns will occur during regular business hours. During that time engineers will use a remotely controlled underwater vehicle to inspect infrastructure at the release chamber. The information gathered during the inspection will allow DEP to design a project to replace valves at the release chamber—a project that is expected to happen several years from now.

Releases from Pepacton Reservoir will be ramped back up to the rate specified in the Flexible Flow Management Program once the inspection is complete. Delaware River Basin states and other stakeholders have been notified of the upcoming work.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.5 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $166 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.