Gowanus Canal to be flushed with millions of gallons of fresh water

It's taken four years to the city to reactive a tunnel to flush millions of gallons of fresh water into the toxic Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.  Credit: Getty Images
It’s taken four years to the city to reactive a tunnel to flush millions of gallons of fresh water into the toxic Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.
Credit: Getty Images

It’s taken four years to the city to reactive a tunnel to flush millions of gallons of fresh water into the toxic Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

Even so, locals are relieved that the city took care in how it addressed both the polluted waterway and its resiliency after Superstorm Sandy.

“I can’t stress how eager we are to see this project be complete,” said Craig R. Hammerman, district manager for the local community board.

“We’re happy that [the city is] taking a cautious approach since it can have serious impact on the community,” he added.

The flushing tunnel was shut down for repairs in 2010, not long after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the two-mile-long, man-made Gowanus Canal a superfund site after years of industrial pollution and stagnant waters.

“The $177 million upgrade of the flushing tunnel is a significant milestone in the city’s efforts to improve the health and cleanliness of the Gowanus Canal,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd said in a statement.

The tunnel itself is some 1.2 miles long and 12 feet in diameter with a brick-lined interior. Both its rehabilitation and the activation of three turbine pumps means 252 million gallons of oxygenated water will wash pollutants through the Carrol Gardens, Park Slope and Red Hood neighborhoods the canal runs through.

Since its closure four years ago and after Sandy pushed the canal’s waters into city streets, the city extended it work to flood proof the tunnel, pump station and surrounding buildings.

Lloyd also said that the city would soon finish an upgrade to a nearby wastewater pump station and begin installation of curbside gardens within the canal’s adjacent neighborhoods — all to improve its water quality.

“The city is really pushing hard on a number of fronts” Hammerman said, “and we’re thankful for it.”

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.