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Powell’s Cove sewage outflow to be rerouted

A member of the College Point Yacht Club holds a picture depicting the kind of sewage overflow into Flushing Bay that the city hopes to prevent with a new construction project.
TimesLedger Newspapers

The city hopes to stop the overflow of sewage into Powell’s Cove with improvements to sewer infrastructure and the Tallman Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The city Department of Environmental Protection updated the College Point Civic Association last month on the progress of the project.

Crews will soon begin work on the Tallman Island Wastewater Treatment Plant before moving on to building the Whitestone Interceptor which when completed will be a new pipe to help a mixture of rainwater and sewage reach the plant without getting backlogged. Some of that water, called combined sewer overflow, currently spills out of a pipe at the edge of Powell’s Cove Park.

“Right now it’s spilling into the cove,” said Colin Johnson, of the DEP, referring to instances when heavy rainfall overwhelms the system and triggers the overflow.

The DEP is about to make improvements to the plant to accommodate the new flow patterns. Those improvements, along with the construction of the extra pipeline beneath the park, are expected to be completed in August, 2014.

Wastewater from Whitestone currently flows westward toward College Point through a pipe beneath 11th Avenue.

At the same time, wastewater from Flushing flows north toward College Point through another pipe called the Flushing interceptor.

At the intersection of the two, a problem arises.

The Flushing pipe can be thought of as a highway with fast flowing traffic, while the Whitestone pipeline is more like a side street.

The wastewater from the Whitestone pipe backs up at the intersection, much like a line of cars would, but instead of sitting in the pipe and building up pressure, the combined sewage and rainwater is jettisoned into the bay.

The new construction project will create a dedicated route, however, for the Whitestone pipe to reach the treatment plant. Instead of flowing into the Flushing route and heading north, the new Whitestone Interceptor will run parallel to the Flushing pipe and take the sewage directly there.

The construction will largely be taking place within Powell’s Cove Park, although crews will also have to work on 11th Avenue between 130th and 131st streets.

The agency also detailed new storm sewer projects on the horizon.

Next year, the DEP will spend $25.5 million to construct storm sewers along 9th Avenue along with storm and sanitary sewers on 20th Avenue from 126th Avenue westward to the coast.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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Reader Feedback

Steven from Jamaica says:
.......kind of like the overflow/flooding on Bedell St. in Jamaica (not near a waterway) that has been happening for over 50yrs & street not paid in over 30yrs.
Aug. 20, 2013, 8:13 am

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