Newtown Creek’s New Labs

The city’s largest wastewater treatment plant keeps coming up with ways to better treat our waste.

On March 8, Department of Environmental Protection officials announced the opening of a new $2.3 million laboratory to streamline the plant’s testing procedures and improve the agency’s monitoring of local waterways.

The lab will effectively consolidate analysis of bacteria for all of the city’s 14 wastewater plants at its flagship plant at 329 Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn, helping the DEP compare multiple test results at once, across plants. Agency officials, including DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway, hope the lab will help them achieve even higher levels of pollutant removal from 1.3 gallons of wastewater that city residents secrete or discharge every day.

“One of our core responsibilities is to make sure that wastewater is effectively treated, so that it has as little impact on our receiving waterways as possible,” said Holloway. “This new microbiology lab will substantially increase our monitoring and testing capacity, giving us the vital information we need to meet and exceed treatment standards, and continue the resurgence of New York City’s waterways that is central to Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC vision.”

The 2,000 square foot lab will include new equipment including incubators, sterilizers, purification systems, balances, conductivity meters, and colony counters as well as microscopes with video displays connected to computers that can be used to reflect and magnify images in view.

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