2012 Watershed and Technical Conference Presentations

All Presentations are in Adobe PDF format. Please note that not all documentation included on this page is ADA compliant. For assistance with any of these documents, Contact the Watershed Protection & Partnership Council. Additional Note: Not all presentations below are listed in the 2012 Compendium of Abstracts. The additional presentations (that do not have summaries included) were presented at a panel session featuring the Commissioner from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.


2012 Compendium of Abstracts


Funding Sources for a Stormwater Utility


Green Infrastructure in New York City Monitoring Stormwater Source Controls to Guide Implementation As part of the Mayor's PlaNYC 2030 initiatives, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is piloting green infrastructure source control retrofits to better manage stormwater runoff and address CSO and sewer capacity issues throughout the City. The purpose of this pilot program is to examine the functionality of these systems and
the suitability of expanding their use throughout combined sewer areas.


Green Infrastructure in New York City Stormwater Source Control Performance Through pilot implementation and comprehensive monitoring efforts, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection has gained valuable information regarding the benefits of green infrastructure for stormwater management and CSO control, while also gaining insight into the challenges these systems can present. Although evaluations are still ongoing, monitoring data collected during 2011 at a number of source control pilots throughout the City have provided a foundation for preliminary assessments of the performance of these systems. Specifically, monitoring efforts have offered information on the effectiveness of these source controls in reducing the rate and volume of stormwater runoff leaving a site, in addition to qualitative assessments of maintenance requirements, appearance, and perception.


Evolving Watershed Management


On-Site Wastewater Treatment Programs in the Watershed –A Status Update For more than 15 years, DEP has worked cooperatively with a number of watershed partners including Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), counties, municipalities and private entities to develop and implement a number of programs that reduce the potential water quality impacts associated with improperly treated wastewater in the upstate water supply watershed. Collectively, these programs have resulted in approximately 7,000 OWTSs that have either been repaired, rehabilitated or connected to a centralized wastewater treatment system. The repair or conversion of these OWTSs is equivalent to millions of gallons of wastewater flow per day that is now properly treated before discharge into the New York City water supply watershed. Since the 1997 Watershed MOA, the overall contribution by DEP to implement the extensive OWTS rehabilitation or conversion programs exceeds $200,000,000.


Recreational Opportunities on NYC Water Supply Lands and Reservoirs While recreational use of City land has been allowed for many years, DEP began a major effort beginning in 2007 to expand recreational opportunities and eliminate barriers to access. Efforts included the 2008 Cooperative Agreement with NYSDEC, the formation of Public Access Areas, eliminating DEP Hunt Tags and expanded recreational boating. Additionally, DEP has issued land use permits to many entities to allow for watershed partners to facilitate recreational activities, such as trail development and maintenance, special events such as walks for fund-raising and playgrounds and ballfields.


Beyond Rating Curves: Time Series Models for in-Stream Turbidity Prediction Turbidity control is a critical function of utilities managing surface water supplies. For New York City's System, a logical strategy for turbidity control is to temporarily remove the Catskill System from service. While effective in limiting delivery of turbid water and reducing the need for alum treatment at Kensico, this strategy runs the risk of negatively impacting water supply reliability. Thus, it is advantageous for NYCDEP to understand how long a particular turbidity event will affect their system. In order to understand the duration, intensity and total load of a turbidity event, predictions of future in-stream turbidity values are important.


Green Infrastructure Design, NYS-WRR


Bronx River Parkway Stormwater Retrofits


Data Streams of Interest to the NYC Water Supply DEP performs extensive analysis of water quality; however, there are outside agencies that also gather data about the watershed and some of this information is made available to DEP for analysis. Examples include on-site monitoring at United States Geological Survey (USGS) gauges and UFI Limnology buoys. The National Weather Service and The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are also reliable sources of beneficial data to DEP.


Disk Filtration for Water Reuse Water supplies everywhere are subject to the pressure of external contamination. As supplies of clean water continue to diminish and groundwater supplies are depleted, re-use and reclamation of wastewater has become increasingly widespread as a supplemental water supply for secondary uses such as irrigation of non-food crops and vegetation. Many technologies are available for reclamation of water, and all are improving rapidly.


Habitat Restoration and Water Quality Improvement


Mapping and Characterization of Riparian Wetlands along the Upper Esopus Creek, Ulster County, NY


Flooding and Land Use Planning: A Guidance Document for Municipal Officials and Planners


Ecological Evaluation of the Voghchi and Meghriget Rivers (ARMENIA) by the Hydrochemical and Hydrobiological Parameters The careless and intensive use of water resources, the incomplete mechanisms of their management, monitoring and quality evaluation led to ecological imbalance between nature and society. All of this is observed in the catchment areas of the Voghchi and Meghriget rivers. The Voghchi and Meghriget rivers are situated in the south of the Republic of Armenia. The catchment areas of the Voghchi and Meghriget rivers, the largest economic regions of Armenia, are under intense anthropogenic and technogenic influences. The ecological situation of the Voghchi and Meghriget rivers was studied by the hydrochemical and hydrobiological parameters.


Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) in the NYC Water Supply System in the aftermath of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee Disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water are a concern to water suppliers because of their suspected carcinogenic properties. DBPs occur in drinking water as a result of a reaction between organic matter naturally occurring in the water and the disinfectant (e.g. chlorine) added to control microbial contaminants. Studies have indicated a positive correlation between DBP formation and the concentration of organic carbon in the source water.


Innovative Process The results and findings of a 3-rain event pilot at the Village of Whitehall will evaluate BOD & TSS concentrations of the wastewater and performance of the Flatline product. Whitehall NY was selected due to the high Inflow & Infiltration experienced during rain events >1/4". Wastewater samples will be taken at the start, middle and end of the rain events as well as random samples of the non-diluted wastewater. The new Flatline Pilot will have the same pump cycles as the main influent pump station and treat the same wastewater as the existing WWTP. A new Flatline SCADA control system will provide automated control of the Flatline process and record real time measurements of COD and TSS. A UVAS and TSS sensor will be provided in this pilot to evaluate Flatline performance and for comparison to laboratory analysis.


Managing Source Water Coliform Bacteria Concentrations After Heavy Storms in 2011


Northeast Orange County Water Supply Implementation Plan Orange County, NY relies on water from both surface and ground water sources within 11 watershed basins within the County, as well as water from the New York City Aqueduct System. The Orange County Water Authority (OCWA) completed the Northeast Orange County (NE OC) Water Supply Feasibility Study in November 2010. This study, which addressed the future water resource needs of the Towns of Newburgh and New Windsor, and the City of Newburgh, evaluated the feasibility of constructing a “regional” water treatment facility that would serve each of these municipalities. In 2011, the OCWA filed an application for and was awarded a project implementation grant application under the New York State Department of State Local Government Efficiency (LGE) Grant Program.


Innovative Trends in Wastewater Treatment For High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Marcellus Shale flowback water reuse and management is critical to environmentally and socially responsible natural gas drilling throughout the Appalachia region. Both the quantity and quality of flowback water present challenges in its safe disposal or reuse. Particularly in Pennsylvania, which has the greatest drilling activity for Marcellus Shale gas, PADEP rules and regulations limit the disposal options to out of state deep disposal wells (E. Ohio) and thus promote wastewater reuse as the predominant wastewater management option.


Engaging Youth in Watershed Science Through School‐based Education Programs For nearly two decades, DEP has worked alongside the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC), US Forest Service, Catskill Center for Conservation & Development, Trout Unlimited, and several private consultants, to develop and implement a series of interrelated upstate/downstate watershed education programs that target school-based audiences in both New York City and upstate watershed communities.


Sustainable Point and Non‐Point Source Nutrient Pollutant Phosphorus Control Using Nanotechnology Nanomanufactured media that exploit adsorptive chemistry and ion exchange treatment to selectively remove and recover nutrients from wastewaters are presented. Impaired watersheds can benefit from improved water quality discharge, along with the added benefit of sustainable recovery of finite resourced nutrient Phosphorus, as soluble reactive phosphate solution, which helps offset the cost of treatment.


Application of a Culvert Assessment Procedure for Determining Compliance with USACE Nationwide and New York Regional Permit Conditions for Aquatic Life Movement and Management of Water Flows On March 19, 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reissued Nationwide Permits (NWP) to authorize certain activities that require permits under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Subsequently, the USACE Buffalo and New York districts issued NWP New York State Regional Conditions (NYSRC) that include new general conditions for all new, replacement or rehabilitated culverts to ensure compliance with NWP general conditions for Aquatic Life Movement (GC2) and Management of Water Flows (GC9). The NYSRC include specific assessment, design, and mitigation requirements that consider impediments to aquatic life movement and accommodation of bankfull flows.


Moving Watershed Management Into The Watershed The East of Hudson (EOH) watershed is approximately 375 square miles, and includes 10 reservoir and three lakes that supply approximately 1.3 billion gallons per day of drinking water for NYC. A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirement has been developed for EOH for phosphorus. In 1997, The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) executed the New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which established a comprehensive watershed management program.


Long Term Phosphorus Reduction at Four NYC Water Supply Watershed Wastewater Treatment Plants Upgraded to Tertiary Filtration The Stamford, Hobart, Delhi, and Walton wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) discharge into the West Branch Delaware River which is the primary water source for the Cannonsville Reservoir, an integral component of the New York City (NYC) water supply system. In an effort to protect and preserve the high quality drinking water supplied by the system, a broad range of watershed protection programs were implemented as part of a filtration avoidance determination (FAD) issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to NYC. The Regulatory Upgrade Program was developed as part of the FAD. The objective of this program is to implement a broad range of infrastructure and process improvements at WWTPs in the NYC Water Supply watersheds to facilitate enhanced phosphorus, particulate, biological oxygen demand and pathogen removal.


Local Flood Hazard Mitigation


Schoharie Creek at Prattsville, New York


Effect of Flooding from Tropical Storm Irene on Fish Communities in the Upper Esopus Creek Basin The Upper Esopus Creek, in the eastern Catskill Mountains of New York, was subjected to extreme flooding from Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011. Peak storm flows at several USGS stream gages in the basin had a less than one percent chance of occurrence in any given year (>100 year flood). Although such flooding has been known to severely reduce species abundances and disrupt entire ecosystems, the actual impacts on resident biota in the Esopus remain unknown or simply speculative.


Tanners Pond Environmental Center Nassau County originally constructed Stormwater Basin 232 during the early 1950's in western Garden City as a means of draining precipitation from roads. In 1995, a private nonprofit organization, The Garden City Bird Sanctuary, Inc. obtained a Use and Occupany permit to manage a 9 acre portion of the site under an innovative “Dual Use” program for community use of the site. Extensive public education and outreach efforts have resulted in the development of the area as re-landscaped nature preserve and publically accessible park.


UV for Disinfection and Emerging Contaminants Treatment facility operators face an increasing number of challenges in their facilities as new contaminants are emerging at the same time that existing microorganisms are becoming increasingly resistant to the traditional method of disinfection through the use of chlorine. The use of chlorine has also been determined to cause the formation of disinfection byproducts in the water distribution system, which must be controlled as well.


Piloting Recreational Boating on NYC Reservoirs Success in Public and Private Cooperation This presentation will focus on the public and private cooperation that enabled the successful completion of a recreational boating pilot program from 2009 through 2011 at the Cannonsville Reservoir. The purpose was to improve regional recreational opportunities and promote environmentally sound economic development.


West Branch SilviculturalTreatment Results 1999-2011 Silvicultural treatment of forests on New York City owned watershed lands has been on-going for many years. For lands on the east side of the Hudson River, many of the treatments were initially undertaken as part of dam rehabilitation projects beginning in 1996-1997. The objectives of treatment were to pay particular attention to conifer plantations and nearby natural deciduous stands that were approaching maturity and senescence, removing dead or dying hazard trees and thinning the stands to create openings to assure forest regeneration and remove exotic, invasive species as much as possible. Research plots were established in several locations, beginning in 1999. At West Branch reservoir in Putnam County, NY, these were established on three sites prior to silvicultural treatment and re-measured following thinning in 2001, 2005 and 2011.


Westchester’s MS4 Communities on Long Island Sound Upgrade Infrastructure to Comply with Clean Water Act Since 2007 EPA initiated, working with NYSDEC and Westchester County DOH MS4 field assessments of every municipality in Westchester County discharging stormwater to the Long Island Sound. EPA's CWA and SDWA inspectors
conducted administrative reviews of each municipality's MS4 Permit, inspected all municipal facilities, visited all outfalls,
including a good number of catch basins and issued enforcement actions for compliance scheduling. Suspect
outfalls were sampled, and EPA established a baseline for significant reduction in pathogens at suspected discharge
points.


Turbidity in the Esopus Creek Watershed:Historical vs. Recent In 2011 and 2012 large storm events occurred which resulted in elevated turbidities in the Esopus creek watershed. The impacts and duration of these elevated turbidities will be examined and compared to impacts from other large storm events in past years, some of which also led to the use of alum by NYC in order to meet the turbidity requirements of the Surface Water Treatment Rule. An analysis of seasonal differences of storm impacts on water quality will also be made.


Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in Perspective The year 2011 was historic for the New York City Water
Supply. Tropical Storms Irene and Lee caused devastation throughout the watershed causing flooding, physical
alterations to the watershed, and also changes to water quality.


The NYC Water Supply Operations Support Tool (OST):Planned Upgrades of Interim Functionality The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Bureau of Water Supply, is developing a decision support system called the Operations Support Tool (OST). OST will combine near-real-time data collection, cutting edge forecasts, and linked water quantity-water quality models to provide guidance to DEP managers operating the water supply. The system will help DEP maximize water supply reliability, support downstream water needs, and further enhance the flood mitigation already provided by the reservoirs.


Comparison of Two Field Filters for the Collection of Viruses from Surface Water Viruses known to cause gastrointestinal illness in humans, also known as human enteric viruses (HEV), include enteroviruses, rotoaviruses, adenoviruses, reoviruses and many others. In fact, there are well over 100 different enteric viruses that are known to infect and replicate in the human intestinal tract and result in gastroenteritis, fever, respiratory distress and numerous other conditions. As required by the Information Collection Rule (ICR), the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has used a 1MDS electropositive filter for the collection of enteric viruses from water since the beginning of its virus monitoring program in 1992 (10" Virosorb, Cuno). More recently, in 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented findings using an alternate, and less costly, 5" electropositive filter (NanoCeram, Argonide). DEP performed a comparison of these two filters using surface water samples from the NYC watershed.


Hurricane Irene Impacts “One Year Later"


Modeling the Evolution of Catskill Stream Channels ‐Preliminary Results Catskill Mountain streams provide up to 90% of the municipal water supply for 9 million residents of NYC through a network of six reservoirs draining approximately 3885 km2. High magnitude runoff events with flood frequency recurrence intervals greater than 10 years cause significant suspended sediment turbidity conditions limiting the use of up to 40% of this unfiltered water supply for drinking water. The Catskill Mountains were glaciated in the Pleistocene and the stream network has variably incised into the glacial “legacy” sediments which are enriched in fine sediment. When streams intersect clay-rich glacial till and/or glaciolacustrine silt and clay, fine sediment is entrained during high runoff giving the streams a characteristic red-brown turbidity with levels often exceeding 300 NTU (NYCDEP 2006). A multi-phase research project has been initiated to investigate the processes that control erosion, entrainment and transport of fine sediment in the Catskill Mountain streams as well as developing conceptual and quantitative modeling tools capable of simulating the evolution of stream channels under a range of hydro-climatic and watershed physical conditions.


A Modeling Used to Inform Operational Decisions for the NYC Water Supply Turbidity is a primary factor that potentially limits use of Catskill System portion of the New York City Water Supply. During the elevated turbidity events daily decisions are carefully taken to optimize system operations for turbidity control, while ensuring adequate water storage levels within the entire water system. To support these decisions, a combination of watershed, reservoir water quality and water system simulation models are used to evaluate alternative operational scenarios within a probabilistic framework. These simulation models form the basis for the Operational Support Tool (OST) currently under development by New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).