photo from NYCWater's Flickr account
A new chapter opened in the long history of the New Croton Aqueduct with the May 8 announcement by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection that it is once again providing water to the city. The 33-mile-long New Croton opened in 1890. It is three times larger than the Old Croton and lies further east and deeper underground. Generally providing about 10% of the water supply, it can provide up to about a third when the need arises.
The New Croton has been offline since 2008 for rehabilitation work related to the new Croton Filtration Plant. The aqueduct brings Croton water to Jerome Park Reservoir in the Bronx, from where, in the past, it entered the city’s distribution network. Henceforth, water in the reservoir will be diverted via new tunnels to the enormous, $3.2 billion filtration plant (whose activation was also announced by DEP) to undergo treatment, including exposure to ultraviolet light. The filtered water will then be distributed directly from the plant.
The filtration plant was required by federal and state authorities because development in the Croton watershed was affecting the quality of the water. After long controversy, it has been built under the Mosholu Golf Course in Van Cortlandt Park; the golf course is now being restored on top of the plant. The Jerome Park Conservancy and neighborhood residents continue to campaign for recreational access to the path around the scenic, 94-acre Jerome Park Reservoir
Blog entry by Charlotte Fahn