Cayuga, Hudson and cheesesteakes

1. Cornell received a draft permit from NYSDEC for the continued operation of the Lake Source Cooling in exchange for a $2.1 million study of phosphorus entering the southern end of Cayuga Lake.

The NYS Water Resources Institute at Cornell will work with local and regional stakeholders in developing sound science and community-based action agendas using the best tools and practices for protecting Cayuga Lake to be included in the updated plan.

Susan Riha, director of the Water Resources Institute, said, “This collaborative effort is something we in the Cayuga Lake watershed have all wanted for a long time. With the support of DEC, Cornell faculty, staff and students have been engaged in research to help implement watershed protection action agendas in the Hudson and, more recently, in the Mohawk River basins.”

2. The proposed Haverstraw desalination plant continues to be on the Rockland County Legislature’s agenda.

The Rockland County Legislature approved two resolutions in regards to United Water’s proposed desalination plant in Haverstraw.

The first resolution supports the request of Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee asking the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to reopen its proceedings from 2006 on Rockland’s water supply. The second resolution requests the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) require an issues conference and adjudicatory hearing on the proposed Haverstraw desalination plant.

3. Meanwhile in neighboring Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA averages 750 water main breaks per year. The city has about 3,100 miles of water mains, so that’s about 221 breaks/leaks per 1000 miles of mains. The same figure for Boston, MA is 192 breaks per 100 miles as per data from MassDEP (2008).  A recent break in a 36-inch transmission pipe in Philadelphia released 5-6 million gallons of water. Officials realize that these incidents are due to the aging infrastructure.

“There’s really no consistency from one water-main break to the next,” said Nutter, who visited the site. “Some of it certainly is aging infrastructure, but sometimes they get a hairline crack because of the amount of water and pressure, which could blow a part of it out.”

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