A series of alternatives were presented for reducing combined sewer overflows to the Bronx River at last week’s Long Term Control Plan meeting hosted by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. Their presentation, available here, provides background information on conditions in the river and outlines 6 possible approaches to reducing combined sewer overflows in the lower Bronx River.
What were key points presented by DEP at the second meeting on the Long Term Control Plan for the Bronx River?
DEP has developed a series of six options for reducing combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the Bronx River. They range in cost and in effectiveness, and some include disinfection of the CSO through chlorination.
How will DEP insure that nothing harmful is being released into the river?
We recommend that DEP Include daily monitoring using grab samples at all outfalls when disinfection is actively in use. We also want to have baseline ecological surveys conducted in each area being treated at disinfection outfall to track any long-term effects of chlorination.
To address concerns regarding alternatives employing disinfection, DEP has indicated that a study will be conducted on the management of discharges resulting from this type of treatment, with the results to be available in two years. We look forward to seeing the results of this study that will determine how well the discharges can be controlled and whether de-chlorination will be required to prevent chlorine from entering the water.
What else can be done to protect water quality in the river?
A watershed approach should be promoted to realize greater water quality improvements. To complement the CSO reduction activities included in the Long Term Control Plan for the Bronx River, expanding green infrastructure into upstream areas will provide water quality benefits.
How can the public help?
DEP welcomes input from the public as part of the Long Term Control Plan process. Let them know that you care about the river and its wildlife, and that you want DEP to fully study and monitor any treatments for the possible impacts they may present.
We can all help by conserving water, which will help reduce inputs into the combined sewer system.
The Bronx River Alliance is evaluating these alternatives and developing comments to submit to DEP regarding the plan. The public is welcome to comment as well. Submit your ideas and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org..