The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) last week joined Marbletown Supervisor Rich Parete and Rosendale Supervisor Jeanne Walsh to mark the delivery of a truck that will provide clean drinking water to 200 homes and businesses in High Falls during the upcoming shutdowns of the Catskill Aqueduct.
DEP is currently working on an $158-million project to rehabilitate the 92-mile-long Catskill Aqueduct, which delivers drinking water from Ashokan Reservoir to New York City. The project — which includes cleaning the inside of the aqueduct, fixing leaks and replacing century-old valves — requires DEP to shut down the aqueduct for ten weeks each year through 2021.
While planning for the aqueduct rehabilitation, DEP identified that High Falls did not have an adequate backup supply of drinking water for its district during shutdowns of the Catskill Aqueduct. The High Falls Water District draws about 30,000 gallons of water each day from the aqueduct, which currently is the only source of water for the district.
Over the past several years, DEP collaborated with Marbletown, Rosendale and the High Falls Water District on an intergovernmental agreement to ensure the district had a reliable source of drinking water during the periodic shutdowns. Through that agreement DEP provided up to $410,000 for High Falls to invest in equipment and infrastructure. The bulk of that money went toward a 5,000-gallon water truck that will be used to shuttle clean drinking water to High Falls from the neighboring Rosendale Water District during the shutdown. High Falls received the water truck this fall and will use it during the Catskill Aqueduct shutdown that begins in November. DEP funds were also used for plumbing upgrades at the High Falls plant, allowing the truck to convey water into its water tower and treatment plant.
“I want to thank Supervisor Parete and Supervisor Walsh for collaborating with DEP over the past several years to ensure we could repair the Catskill Aqueduct while maintaining a reliable supply of drinking water for High Falls,” DEP Deputy Commissioner Paul Rush said.
“The Town of Rosendale thanks DEP for working with both towns to provide a water truck that will ensure residents of the High Falls Water District continue to have safe drinking water during the upcoming shutdowns of the Catskill Aqueduct,” said Walsh.
The High Falls Water District includes approximately 200 connections that serve nearly 500 residents along the border of Marbletown and Rosendale.