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Robust online interactions and media presence through our external website as well as social 
media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and 

 

Workshops for businesses on topics ranging from proper grease disposal to complying with the 
City’s rules.  

One example of an inventive public engagement campaign is Wait…, which taps into an active 
community interest in environmental stewardship by encouraging consumers to reduce water use in 
their homes with a timely text message during heavy rain events that cause combined sewer overflows 
(CSOs). Residents who receive these real-time notifications can take action to reduce their water 
consumption to help increase capacity in the combined sewer system and improve harbor water quality. 
DEP is the first water utility in the United States to pilot this type of program.   

Energy Efficiency and Energy Generation & Recovery  

Treating 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater every day requires a significant energy expenditure; DEP is the 
second largest municipal consumer of electricity in New York City. We have pursued an energy strategy 
that allows us to achieve operational savings and support the City’s overall energy reduction goals while 
balancing the demands of energy-intensive operations at our water supply and wastewater treatment 
facilities.   

Over the past four years, DEP has conducted energy audits at 40 facilities to identify nearly 400 energy 
conservation measures and has moved forward with 283 potential projects, of which 46 have been 
completed and another 17 are underway. Additionally, DEP is an active participant in the Demand 
Response Program, in which facilities reduce their electric load during grid peak periods to contribute to 
grid reliability and avoid brownouts and blackout events. The revenue generated by participating in 
demand response will be directed back to projects such as recharge and exercise spaces for the 
participating facilities.   

DEP has launched or is evaluating a number of projects to generate and recover energy across the 
agency, including:  

 

operating a 1.0 MW solar power system and initiating a larger study of solar generation at other 
facilities, 

 

assessing the potential of a 14 MW hydroelectric facility at the Cannonsville Dam,  

 

upgrading engines and electrical equipment to support cogeneration at the North River, 
upgrading the Coney Island and Owls Head cogeneration facilities and evaluating co-gen at 
other wastewater treatment facilities and  

 

engaging in a three-year demonstration partnership with Waste Management and National Grid 
to digest up to 250 tons per day of organic food waste and return the excess gas into the natural 
gas distribution system.    

Watershed Stewardship  

DEP operates the largest unfiltered water supply in the United States, and over has an expansive 
watershed management program that includes source water protection, extensive research, and close 
collaboration with local partners to mitigate and study potential sources of pollution in the watershed. 
DEP also conducts more than 500,000 analyses annually to ensure that our drinking water quality meets 
or exceeds state and federal standards.