The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is a long-time “Envision Supported Agency” at the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. Envision Supported Agencies (ESAs) are public-sector organizations who use Envision and employ at least one Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) within their workforce. With a number of these ESAs being very active, there are an impressive number of projects using Envision right now to highlight sustainability. In one key area — wastewater infrastructure — critical facilities are being modernized. Essential improvements to systems and operations are being done for energy efficiency, climate resiliency, and current and future community sustainability. The Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant New Anaerobic Digester Facilities Project, along with three other examples, is highlighted below.
NYC DEP: The Department manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.8 million in New York City. For more information, visit their website here.
Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant New Anaerobic Digester Facilities
Project Description: This project serves to maintain stable operations for solids processing and serve as the backbone to achieve future energy and emission reductions and resource recovery goals. With four brand-new digesters, reuse of digester biogas, and sustainable roofs, the project at Hunts Point Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility in the Bronx epitomizes this mission. As an example, new digester waste gas burners enhance the quality of air by more efficiently destroying air pollutants. Replacing aging components of the treatment plant with state-of-the-art technology improves the digestion process and reduces the sludge loads requiring dewatering. This, in turn, reduces disposal truck traffic from the plant and produces less volume of dewatered sludge that must be sent to landfills.
A comprehensive sustainability management plan was developed to assess and prioritize sustainability goals across economic, social, and environmental dimensions. Specific targets were established around, for example, sustainable sourcing of new construction materials; use of recycled materials; construction and demolition waste diversion from landfills; and use of renewable energy, including digester gas produced by the facility and photovoltaic panels on the digester feed pump station and control building roofs.
Award Level and Project Status: Envision Gold; Under construction.
READ ABOUT THREE MORE PROJECTS:
Victory Boulevard Pump Station Rehabilitation
Victory Boulevard Pump Station Rehabilitation
Project Description: The Victory Boulevard Pump Station, a 4-million-gallon-per-day (4.0 MGD) sanitary pump station on Staten Island, became due for replacement. The new Victory Boulevard Pump Station is designed to provide reliable, efficient, and low-maintenance operation, and its design is aligned with the NYC Wastewater Resiliency Plan. Post-Hurricane Sandy, which severely impacted New York City, that plan called for controls and electrical equipment to be placed above the critical flood elevation, and for emergency power provisions to be provided in the event of an outage.
Sustainability achievements associated with this project focus on the Envision Leadership credits (e.g., establishing and effective sustainability management plan and planning for the long term) and the Resource Allocation credits (supporting sustainable procurement and reducing construction). There are also Natural World credit achievements related to stormwater management. As an example, the project includes permeable concrete, weed-resistant ground cover with aerated soils, and a green roof in the project design. Moreover, climate change threats to the project and its surroundings were assessed and the findings were publicly shared with stakeholders to improve awareness and better enable community preparedness.
Award Level and Status: Envision Silver; Under construction.
Borden Avenue Pump Station
Borden Avenue Pump Station
Project Description: The Borden Avenue Pump Station is being upgraded to meet resiliency and operational requirements. This is a combined sewer pumping station located in a commercial area of Queens. The upgrade is focused on making the pump station more reliable during extreme wet weather events by installing submersible equipment and elevating critical electrical and control equipment to above the design flood elevation, based on the community Climate Risk Assessment and Adaptation Plan. Key elements of this project include installing new submersible sewage pumps; converting the existing dry well into a wet well; installing new hatches, cranes and hoists, and new electrical and control equipment; and provisions to support increasing capacity, with a corresponding increase to the building footprint.
Improving current and future community sustainability was identified as an important goal for this project, as the focus is on upgrading an existing piece of critical wastewater infrastructure to meet tomorrow’s needs. Detailed resiliency goals and risk evaluations were established, informing the design. The project also prioritizes effective use and management of materials, with specific targets around construction waste diversion from landfills, the amount of project materials obtained from sustainable sources, and use of recycled materials.
Award Level and Status: Envision Gold; Under construction.
Eltingville Pump Station (EPS) Upgrades
Project Description: The primary goal of the Eltingville Pump Station (EPS) Upgrades project is to ensure reliable service to the Eltingville community of Staten Island. The upgrades are being undertaken to prevent sewer backups; the work will also increase the infrastructure capacity to expand service with expected population growth. Among the sustainability highlights, this project implemented an energy efficient design. The project team assessed four design alternatives to estimate process and non-process load energy consumption, GHG emissions and annual energy cost. The selected project design reduces indoor design temperature and ventilation requirements and has a negligible capital cost that resulted in the most significant reduction of energy consumption and resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Among other sustainability achievements recognized through the Envision verification process, this project implemented water conservation strategies. Almost no potable water is required to operate and maintain this project and the new pumps will also use no water to maintain a seal, which eliminated the need for the existing seal water system. This project furthermore set out specific targets for waste diversion from landfill, use of sustainable procurement, and amount of recycled content. In addition, the Envision credit focusing on “preserving views and local character” was addressed during verification; designing the building to integrate well with its surroundings was a primary consideration for the project team.
Award Level and Status: Gold; Under construction.
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