Southern Brooklyn Wastewater Facility To Get $110 Million Upgrade

The city says its $110 million plan to upgrade the Coney Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility will allow the plant to consume less electricity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower operating costs.

Southern Brooklyn Wastewater Facility To Get $110 Million Upgrade

The Coney Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility near an inlet of the Jamaica Bay. (Image: NYC Department of Environmental Protection)

The city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that it is working on a multimillion dollar effort to make a southern Brooklyn wastewater facility more reliable and efficient.

DEP says its $110 million plan to upgrade pumps at the Coney Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility (which is actually in Sheepshead Bay) will allow the plant to consume 20% less electricity and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 500 metric tons, the equivalent of taking 109 passenger cars off the road. It will also save nearly a quarter million dollars in annual operating costs.

The agency, which manages the city’s water supply, says the southern Brooklyn wastewater facility on Knapp Street near Avenue Y serves nearly 600,000 residents, processing 110 million gallons of wastewater daily during dry weather and up to twice that when it rains. But the plant’s Main Sewage Pumps (MSP) system was built in the 1980s, and its motors, piping, valves and electrical equipment are due for replacement.

“This work is essential to reducing our carbon footprint, improving air quality, lowering operating costs and ensuring the treatment facility remains in a state of good repair for decades to come,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said in a statement announcing the project, which is already underway.

The agency will upgrade the plant’s six main sewage pumps, discharge piping, force main, and valves in the existing dry well.  New motors, controllers and associated electrical equipment will also be installed, as will improved HVAC equipment.

Once completed, the upgraded plant is expected to provide reliable sewage pumping capacity for at least 30 more years.

The Coney Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility is located on Knapp Street in southern Brooklyn. (Image: Google Maps)

The agency says construction will be finished in 2025, and the plant will remain operational throughout that time. Local elected officials praised the project.

“At a time when more intense heat waves and stronger storms are becoming the norm, we must ensure our infrastructure is greener and more resilient to prepare for a warming world,” Brooklyn Borough President and leading mayoral candidate Eric Adams said in a statement. “The new and improved Coney Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility meets both of these goals, and sets the standard for infrastructure across the city and state.”

In 2018, the city announced a separate, $57 million project to reduce the amount of nitrogen released by the plant into nearby Jamaica Bay. That project is scheduled to be completed next year. Two years earlier, 31-year-old worker Michael Buffamante died at the plant after falling into a 35-foot-deep concrete wastewater tank.

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