With 19,000 feet of concrete-lined pipe and "state-of-the-art" technology that allows the village to control aspects of the pump station remotely, Village Manager Philip Zegarelli said Briarcliff Manor is all but ready to switch from the New York City Croton Aqueduct to the Catskill water supply.
"This was truly a shovel-ready project," Zegarelli said of the three-phase undertaking that includes a brand new pump station built at the Tarrytown Lakes.
It all started when former Briarcliff Manor Mayor Keith Austin approached Sleepy Hollow (when Zegarelli was mayor) in 2000.
"He says, 'We have this problem, We have to get off the Croton aqueduct,'" Zegarelli explained. "'Can we tap into your tap and run a line up to Briarcliff?'"
The village has been pressured by New York City to switch its water source, he said, as standards for purity have increased over the years.
Then, when current Mayor William Vescio took over and the city continued to threaten the village with heavy fines, the plans to develop an agreement with the neighboring villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown—who tap into the Catskill supply—hit the fast track.
Meanwhile, Zegarelli, who joined Briarcliff Manor as village manager in 2009, focused on rounding up stimulus funds for the project.
“I literally camped out in Washington,” he said.
Zegarelli added the plans and "shovel ready" factor gave the village an edge over other applicants, and sure enough, the village received $18,900,000 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Over an 18-month period, the village cleaned the interior and painted the exterior of the already existing three million gallon Rosecliff water tank, installed 19,000 feet of 16" transmission main piping from the Elmsford-based meter building, to the new pump station at the Tarrytown Lakes, to the Rosecliff tank.
The village has an additional one million gallon water tank.
The pipe, which oftentimes is directly under roadway, is at least five-feet-deep at all points, said Zegarelli.
A new siphon was also installed at the Elmsford site where the Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow siphon connects to the Catskill Aqueduct for Briarcliff Manor.
Roopeh Joshi, a senior principal engineer with Hazen and Sawyer, as well as the project's on-site engineer, said the second siphon helps to alleviate the water pressure from the aqueduct, which pushes through at 17 pounds per square inch (PSI).
Finally, the brand new pump station, located adjacent to the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow stations by the Tarrytown Lakes, was built.
There are three pumps in the station, isolated rooms to contain any phosphate, chlorine or phosphoric acid leakage, manual and electronic controls, as well as an outdoor generator that will kick in in the event of power loss.
A period of testing the system and water for bacteria and other potential issues took place following the construction phase, and now the village is waiting for the go-ahead from state and county inspectors.
There will be a ceremony at the new pump station once it is online, and the village is planning to invite President Barack Obama.
Click through the photos above to see and learn more about the water system.