“Flooding in Astoria has damaged homes and could create dangerous conditions on our streets,” said Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr., who represents the area and attended the meeting. “We must do something to stop this problem before it grows worse,” he said, explaining that over the past few months he has received more flooding complaints than in previous years.
To alleviate the problem, the DEP is now adding a new pump to the Bowery Bay Water Pollution Control Plant at 43-01 Berrian Boulevard, said Christopher Villari, DEP coordinator for Queens. This, Villari explained, should accelerate water processing. The Bowery plant, responsible for the majority of the waste water in the district, currently has a capacity of 3 million gallons of water a day, but it could handle considerably more with the new pump, Villari said.
The reason for the recent increase in flooding problems is that the neighborhood’s population has expanded due to development, but the capacity of its sewers hasn’t quite followed suit, according to Villari. These sewers were built about 100 years ago, long before the city’s population began booming, he added.
Astoria’s sewer system to expand
“There is a formula that every developer has to submit for their projects showing that their water can be absorbed by the system,” Villari said. “We try to make sure that the system can handle what they are putting in.”
However, Villari admitted that it has become a challenge to keep up as one- and two-family homes are being replaced by large residential buildings with many more units.
Photo from NY Times