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Drainage Upgrade at NYCHA’s Gowanus Houses Reduces Flooding and Improves the Health of the Canal

Addition of Green Infrastructure captures up to 2 million gallons of stormwater annually which helps to reduce flooding while also decreasing sewer overflows into the Gowanus Canal

The green infrastructure that was built at the Gowanus Houses cost approximately $830,000 and includes permeable concrete sidewalks, subsurface infiltration chambers and a rain garden.

DEP has made significant investments to improve the health of the Gowanus Canal, including committing more than $1 billion for the construction of sewer overflow retention tanks.

The new Flushing Tunnel Pumping System was upgraded by replacing the existing 7-foot diameter propeller with an average flow of 154 mgd with three axial flow pumps and new intake/discharge chamber capable of pumping at a rate of up to 252 mgd from the Buttermilk Channel (East River) to Gowanus Canal.

(NEW YORK, NY - May 26, 2021) - The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced the completion of a drainage upgrade at the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Gowanus Houses.

The project included the construction of nine green infrastructure installations that will capture nearly 2 million gallons of stormwater in a typical year. By capturing the stormwater that falls on the development and keeping it out of the sewer system, the project will ease pressure on the neighborhood’s sewer system during rainstorms, which will decrease overflows into the Gowanus Canal.

The green infrastructure that was built at the Gowanus Houses cost approximately $830,000 and includes permeable concrete sidewalks, subsurface infiltration chambers and a rain garden. Each of these green infrastructure installations will allow stormwater to be absorbed naturally into the ground, minimize ponding and keep stormwater from entering the sewer system, where it would otherwise contribute to overflows into the Gowanus Canal. The drainage upgrade is just one part of much more extensive ongoing improvement work taking place at the Gowanus Houses.

The Gowanus Houses development consists of 16 buildings on approximately 12.5 acres. NYCHA facilities provide a unique opportunity to utilize publicly-owned property to build green infrastructure and improve the health of local waterways.

In addition, DEP has made significant investments to improve the health of the Gowanus Canal, including: committed more than $1 billion for the construction of sewer overflow retention tanks $180 million to rehabilitate and upgrade the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel installation of high-level sewers along 3rd Avenue at a cost of $53 million; $27 million to upgrade the drainage system along 9th Street; and construction of more than 70 green infrastructure installations throughout the neighborhood, including rain gardens and two green playgrounds

Excerpted from the NYCDEP website.