The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

More Parks Department Atrocities

It was just brought to our attention by one of our supporters that the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has no problem destroying wetlands. In their "FINAL Ridgewood Reservoir Permit" application is a section labeled Item No. XX, "TEMPORARY WATER CONTROL AND DEWATERING". In essence, it states that the contractor will have the discretionary power to DRAIN THE BASIN if the water is felt to be in the way of the intended work. Keep in mind that the parks department's own environmental contractor (Round Mt. Ecologic LLC) had deemed most of the area to be wetlands. We also hired an independent, certified wetlands delineator who arrived at the same conclusions.

I'll be posting a summary of Monday's public meeting with the NYCDPR and NYSDEC shortly. In the meantime, here is Section XX from the permit application:




WORK: This section specifies the removal and control of all water in the work area in order to permit all excavation, construction, installation, and related decommissioning activity to be performed “in the dry.” The work under this section includes the furnishing of all labor, equipment, supplies, materials and utilities required for the operation, maintenance and supervision of the control of all water, including surface water and groundwater, such that all construction within this Contract can proceed unhindered by water and flow into or through the work areas. All work shall be performed in accordance with the Contract Documents and to the satisfaction of the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation (NYCDPR) and its Resident Engineer.

Ridgewood Reservoir was formerly utilized as a water supply distribution reservoir by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP), but is no longer in service. The reservoir basins have been disconnected from the water distribution system and drained. The Contractor should be aware Basin 2 (Middle Basin) continues to impound an area of standing water. The Contractor is hereby made aware that the NYCDPR has no control over inflows into the work area. Major rainfall events may cause the water level in the basins to rise and lead to potential inundation of the work site.

The Contractor shall be responsible for determining the need for and the means and methods of implementing water control, including dewatering, during the work of the Contract, except as specifically stated herein and in other Sections. The Resident Engineer will monitor conditions at the site and the effects of water levels and flows on the Work. If, in the Resident Engineer’s opinion, the presence of water has the potential to create a deleterious effect on the Work, then the Contractor shall take measures to control such water to the satisfaction of the Resident Engineer at no additional cost to the NYCDPR.

The Contractor shall remove all pumped water away from the work area, and provide sedimentation controls in accordance with all applicable local codes and law as well as the Sedimentation and Erosion Control and Surface Water Control Sections of the Contract Documents. Effluent shall be discharged back into the basins. The Contractor shall take all necessary precautions to prevent flow or seepage back into excavations. All handling and disposal of surface water shall be in accordance with regulations set forth by federal, state, and local agencies. Discharge into storm drains is specifically precluded.

ADHERENCE TO REGULATORY CONDITIONS: All work shall comply with all codes, rules, regulations, laws and ordinances and executed in conformance with any permits, licenses etc., as issued by the State of New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation (NYCDPR), the City of New York, and all other authorities having jurisdiction within the project areas. All work necessary to make the work site comply with such requirements shall be provided without additional cost to the NYCDPR.

The Contractor shall procure all other required permits and licenses, (except for those to be obtained by the NYCDPR as stated herein), pay all charges, fees and taxes and shall give all notices necessary and incidental to the due and lawful prosecution of the work under this Contract. The cost thereof shall be included in the prices bid for the various items specified herein for the work of this Contract. Copies of all required permits and licenses shall be filed with the NYCDPR prior to the beginning of the work.

The Contractor shall be responsible for submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) General Permit for the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (Construction Stormwater General Permit) – NY SPDES. As part of this process, the Contractor shall be responsible for developing a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for the Project Site, which shall be submitted to the NYCDPR for review and comment. In any event, the Contractor shall be required to develop and submit an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan in accordance with the Contract Drawings. The Plan will encompass the implementation of sediment, erosion, and water control performance specifications. All temporary dewatering and water control measures must be installed and maintained in accordance with the approved sediment and erosion control plan (or SWPPP).


1. Not less than ten (10) days prior to the scheduled start of work, the Contractor shall submit his proposed method of controlling surface water, groundwater, and maintaining dry conditions, to the Engineer for review. The submittal shall include as a minimum the following items:

• The Contractor's proposed design, sequence of operation, maintenance and supervision of the surface water and groundwater control systems, as needed for each phase of the work, and coordination with temporary groundwater control and temporary cofferdams.

• Design of temporary cofferdams, if necessary.

• The Contractor's proposed contingency plan for additional water control and dewatering

measures for all systems in the event of cofferdam or pumping system failure.

• Scheduling requirements with regard to Sedimentation Control and temporary cofferdam installation.

• The Contractor's proposed contingency plan for potential flooding of the work area. The contingency plan should address, but not to be limited to: handling flooding of the work area, emergency signaling procedures, health and safety plan, and removing equipment and materials from the work area.

2. New York State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity) – NY SPDES. The NY SPDES Construction General Permit is available at the NYSDEC website: (

PUMPS, HOSES, SIPHONS, CONDUITS: Conduit, pipes, or siphons used at the site shall be sized accordingly and shall be maintained in good working order by the Contractor. Other pumps or hoses, if any, used by the Contractor shall be sized appropriately and also maintained in good working order by the Contractor.

Pumps shall be operated in a manner which does not create a nuisance to abutters (i.e. quietly and without significant exhaust).

Fuel for pumps and generators must be located such that fuel cannot be released. Secondary containment shall be provided for gasoline or diesel-powered electrical generators and pumping equipment.

Pipes used for water control and/or diversions shall be sized appropriately and shall be in good condition without leaks or cracks. Pipe pressure ratings shall be adequate for static head loading when pressure flow is expected. Pipe joints shall be watertight and installed as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

EXECUTION: This section defines the intent of water control work, but the Contractor shall ultimately be responsible for means and methods and compliance with the specification will be judged on a performance criteria. The Contractor shall submit a water control plan to the NYCDPR for review and may, at that time, propose alternative water control strategies. The Contractor’s water control plan must however satisfy the terms and conditions of all permits issued to the project.

The Contractor shall maintain ready access to back-up electrical generators, fuel, pumps, hoses and related equipment and supplies with output capacity sufficient to maintain continuous operation of the primary water control system and backup system in the event the original dewatering or water control equipment or power source(s) which is in use becomes inoperable. The back-up generator, pumps and necessary equipment and supplies shall be capable of rapid deployment for replacement of the inoperable equipment.

The Contractor shall take all reasonable and prudent precautions during construction to provide and maintain proper equipment and facilities to control and divert water. Extra vigilance in monitoring any cofferdam structure is vital since dislodgement of such a structure could cause injury to workers within.

If necessary, water control systems shall be operated continuously during all construction specified herein. The operation time may include breaks, nights, weekends, holidays and other times when work is not otherwise being performed on the site. The Contractor shall be responsible for protecting his equipment from damage due to vandalism.

Where the Contractor proposes to remove water from the bottom of the work area by sumping as approved by the Resident Engineer, the intake must be placed within a perforated pipe and the annular space between the pipe and the sump pit (as well as the bottom of the pit) must be filled with Crushed Stone as submitted by the Contractor. Filter fabric may also be used if necessary. Pumping from sumps which remove fines from the soil shall be immediately terminated and the dewatering method revised accordingly.

Pumps, siphons, pipes, channels, etc. shall be sized appropriately. Any cofferdam / barrier shall be constructed of such materials and to such extents that it will withstand the forces and pressures exerted by flows and depths of a reasonable expected magnitude. The cofferdams / barriers shall be compatible with other dewatering, water control, and sedimentation control procedures. Dewatering equipment shall be provided as needed to remove water from subgrades as well as the interior areas of any cofferdams / barriers.

All cofferdams / barriers constructed by the Contractor shall be completely removed upon the completion of the Project. All material shall be legally disposed of off-site at the Contractor’s expense. No material shall be left within the Work area.

The Contractor shall make provisions to prevent flow through excavations or work areas exiting the basins expeditiously in the event of a flood which threatens to overwhelm the water control system or cause increased water levels which might lead to damage at the embankments, or other property outside of the basins.

Pumps must be operated in such a way as to not disturb abutters (e.g. noise). Adequate noise suppression shall be provided. Generators, pumps, or other equipment shall adhere to the limits of New York City regulations governing noise. Pump intakes shall be placed so as to reduce the potential for sediment entrainment and pump discharge points shall make provisions for reducing erosion potential through energy dissipation, riprap protection, etc.

Dewatering systems shall be operated continuously and groundwater levels monitored and maintained at specified levels during all construction specified herein. The operation time is to include breaks, nights, weekends, holidays and other times when work is not otherwise being performed on the site. The Contractor shall be responsible for protecting his equipment from damage due to vandalism.

The Contractor may stage his dewatering plan such that dewatering and groundwater control is limited to areas where work is or soon will be occurring. Groundwater control may cease when the Contractor and NYCDPR and its Resident Engineer are satisfied that groundwater will no longer affect the Work of the Contract or the integrity of the structure in the area.

Groundwater levels in excavations shall be maintained at least two feet (2’) below subgrade.

Discharge water shall be passed through sedimentation chambers, basins, “Silt socks,” “Dirt Bags,” or other proprietary devices which mitigate turbidity delivered to receiving waters. These devices should have a supplemental perimeter line of turbidity curtains or siltation barrier.

MEASUREMENT AND PAYMENT: No measurement will be made for temporary surface water control and dewatering. The bid item under this section is a single LUMP SUM quantity.

The price bid shall be a LUMP SUM and shall include the cost of all labor, materials, equipment, testing, and incidental expenses necessary to complete the work in accordance with the Contract Documents, to the satisfaction of the Engineer.


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