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Integrating the built and natural environments, the newly completed Croton Water Filtration Plant is a now providing water to New York City. With the capacity to filter 290 million gallons of water per day, approximately 1/3 of the City’s water needs, the Plant is New York City’s first filtration plant and the result of an interdisciplinary project team.

The City receives the majority of its water from nearby reservoirs, providing the largest unfiltered water supply in the U.S. and earning the City’s reputation for the cleanest drinking water. However, due to development within the Croton Watershed, water quality deteriorated and in 1998 the City was required to build a filtration plant to meet federal drinking water requirements.

To reduce the footprint of the Plant, one of the City’s largest infrastructure projects, it is built approximately 80-feet below ground in Van Cortlandt Park and includes a 9-acre green roof – the Mosholu Golf Course driving range. The team used green infrastructure and water resource management best practices to solve key challenges of how to collect, filter, and store water on site.  The result of a creative collaboration between regulators, architects, and ecologists, the design minimizes the discharge of stormwater and groundwater into the sewer system by on-site treatment using constructed wetlands and bioswales benefiting the surrounding ecosystems.

The multi-billion dollar project has been a long time in the making, from the initial concept designs to excavation to construction and planting to flowing water.

The project was led by the Hazyen and Sawyer / Metcalf & Eddy Joint Venture. Great Ecology supported the Grimshaw Architects Team along with Rana Creek, Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, Atelier Ten, and Sherwood Design Engineers.

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection has more details on the Plant, including additional photos and a video of a blast during the creation of the 12-ft diameter, 880-ft long tunnel.