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Monday, October 11, 2010

NYC DEP To Activate Ashokan Reservoir Waste Channel

Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway has announced that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) will activate the Ashokan Reservoir Waste Channel and release up to 450 million gallons per day from the Ashokan Reservoir for the next few weeks.

The idea behind the release is to try to improve the water quality in the reservoir, which saw an increase in turbidity or cloudiness as the result of the rain storms on September 30 and October 1.  Releasing water to the waste channel will also lower the reservoir levels, which will increase the reservoir’s ability to capture runoff from intense storms. The waste channel is a concrete canal used to move water from the reservoir through the upper and lower gate chambers to the Little Beaverkill and the lower Esopus Creek.

Located in Ulster County, the Ashokan Reservoir is approximately 13 miles west of Kingston and 73 miles north of New York City. It was formed by the damming of the Esopus Creek, which eventually flows northeast and drains into the Hudson River. The reservoir holds 127.9 billion gallons at full capacity and was opened in 1915.