On November 30, the City of Newburgh’s water supply will be switched off of the Catskill Aqueduct and onto New Windsor’s Browns Pond for an estimate of ten weeks.
Superintendent of the water department, Wayne Vradenburgh, reported that there will be no change in the water quality at all and that they expect a smooth transition between water supplies.
“They won’t even recognize the difference,” said Vradenburgh.
The reason for the switch is because the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) is doing maintenance work on the Catskill Aqueduct to prepare for larger shutdowns in the future, none of which will affect the City of Newburgh. However, the Town of Newburgh might be expecting maintenance work on their source which is the Delaware aqueduct.
“That’s why we’re here,” said Vradenburgh about being a resource to the community. “Residents wouldn’t even know we are switching over. The only reason they know is because we let them know. The team has been preparing for weeks and months for this.”
They’ve been running tests for the switch and received approval from the Department of Health.
“We’re in really good shape,” said Vradenburgh. “We’ve had weekly calls with NYC DEP and we’re all ready to go.”
City Manager Joseph Donat said that the levels at Browns Pond are monitored hourly.
“We have terrific partners all working together here,” said Donat.
After the ten weeks comes to an end, around the beginning of February, the Water Department will switch back to the Catskill Aqueduct.
The City Council has also informed the public about the shutdown and commending the water department for their hard work.
“I always want to give kudos to our water department,” said Councilman Anthony Grice. “We have a top notch water department.”
“The water department has been working their tails off through the pandemic,” said Vradenburgh. “The team has stepped up to the plate and we’re doing well.”
The water department also offers a four-hour filtration plant tour. At this time they have put them on pause due to COVID-19.