Environmental Protection

United Water Developing Plan for Haverstraw, N.Y.

United Water New York officials announced today the commencement of operations of the company’s Haverstraw Water Supply Project pilot study located in West Haverstraw, N.Y. The pilot plant will enable engineers to determine the most effective way to purify water drawn from the Hudson River.

“This is an important step in the development of this project that will provide Rockland County residents with a safe, reliable, and drought-resistant supply of drinking water for future generations,” said Michael Pointing, vice president and general manager.

After conducting an exhaustive review of the water supply options available, including building a reservoir or reusing wastewater, United Water officials concluded the most cost-effective and sustainable option is a treatment plant that will purify water drawn from the Hudson.

The pilot facility will be used to study and optimize, among other things, the treatment processes and energy consumption that will be used in the full-scale plant, while continuing with important water quality data collection. The results of these studies will be used to design a full-sized treatment plant capable of producing up to 7.5 million gallons a day of pure drinking water.

“Plants like this are used around the world to bring purified water to millions of people every day,” said Pointing. “Over a dozen communities along the Hudson already use the river to supply residents with drinking water. The pilot facility will demonstrate how we are building state-of-the-art infrastructure to deliver a pure and safe supply of drinking water and enough to support a thriving, sustainable community.”

The results of the pilot plant testing will be reviewed by state and local regulators, as well as the company’s environmental engineering and water quality experts. The permanent treatment plant will use a combination of traditional water treatment and reverse osmosis to provide a drought-resistant source of drinking water. The plant is expected to start service by December 2015.

United Water proposed building a water treatment plant in Haverstraw as part of a 2006 agreement with state and local officials. The agreement requires the company to secure a long-term water supply to meet expected increases in demand caused by Rockland County’s rising population. The company has increased production from its existing sources and has long promoted a comprehensive conservation program, but this will not be enough to meet the additional demand.

“Rockland County’s population is growing at a faster rate than its water supply and continued development is expected in the future. This means Rockland’s residents face a growing risk of more frequent and more severe water shortages, especially during droughts. Just this year, on July 5, we had the highest recorded demand for water in a single day of 47.31 million gallons. That’s an increase of almost 1 million gallons over the previous peak. A new source of water is needed to ensure that Rockland County always has a safe, reliable water supply,” said Pointing.

United Water New York provides water service to more than 270,000 people throughout Rockland County and parts of Orange County. Founded in 1869, United Water is a subsidiary of Suez Environnement.

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