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Division of Water

Mark Klotz, Director
Tom Cullen, Assistant Director

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Welcome to the Division of Water webpage! The Division conducts a variety of programs to protect and conserve New York's waters. On this page you will find information about the Division's programs and recent activities.

What's New in the Division of Water?

The Division of Water uses this page to highlight water-related information that we think may interest you. This page is updated weekly and topics are typically posted here for about 30 days. If a topic has a specific end date (such as a public comment period or an event), the description is removed after the end date.

New Brochure Available to Help Managers of Small Businesses Keep their Wastewater Systems Working Properly

DEC has posted a new brochure to its website entitled, "A Guide to Help Managers of Small Businesses Keep their Wastewater Systems Working Properly (PDF)(520 KB)". This new brochure provides information about the proper operation and maintenance of onsite wastewater treatment systems at private, commercial and institutional (PCI) businesses and facilities. It lists steps to help optimize the performance of onsite systems, reduce costly repairs, and prevent environmental harm.

More information about onsite treatment systems at PCI facilities, and the PCI general permit can be found on DEC's SPDES Private / Commercial / Institutional (PCI) General Permit webpage.

New York Sea Grant and DEC Requesting Proposals for Small Grants Program

New York Sea Grant in partnership with DEC is requesting proposals for projects that serve to benefit the environment and economy of New York's Great Lakes basin. Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded for projects that implement Goal #5 and/or Goal #7 of the Great Lakes Action Agenda.

Proposals are due by September 23, 2016. The full request for proposals and application guidelines can be found on New York Sea Grant's Funding Opportunities webpage (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "links leaving the DEC website").

Informational Webinars

To help not-for-profit organizations, local governmental and public agencies, and public and private educational institutions apply for grants, New York Sea Grant will offer informational webinars on July 11, 2016 at 12:00 PM and July 25, 2016 at 12:00 PM. Those interested in attending may register through Cornell Cooperative Extension (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "links leaving the DEC website").

WaterSense Program Marks 10th Anniversary

As a WaterSense partner, DEC, along with EPA, is marking the 10th anniversary of EPA's WaterSense program, which has helped save more than 1.5 trillion gallons of water and $32.6 billion on American utility bills. For more information on how to conserve water, visit DEC's Saving Water Makes Good Sense webpage or EPA's WaterSense webpage (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "links leaving the DEC website").

Harmful Algal Bloom Notices

New information about lakes with harmful algal bloom notices has been posted June 24 on the DEC Harmful Algal Blooms Notifications webpage.

This week, 9 waterbodies in several locations in the state were added to the notification list. There are currently 19 waterbodies with blooms on the notification list.

Avoid yucky water!

Summer vacation is almost here and kids will be in the water. Protect yourself, your family and pets by avoiding contact with harmful algal blooms.

Harmful algal blooms can look like:

  • white, blue or green spilled paint;
  • green streaks on the surface of the water;
  • green dots in the water or green globs on the surface of the water;
  • pea soup.

To learn more about what harmful algal blooms look like, visit DEC's photo gallery of harmful algal blooms.

Avoid and report suspected blooms

Because waterbodies may have harmful algal blooms that have not been reported to DEC, we recommend avoiding contact with floating mats, scum and discolored water.

If you suspect you have seen a harmful algal bloom, or you, your family, or pet has been in contact with a harmful algal bloom, please follow the instructions for reporting a bloom to DEC. If you see it, avoid it and report it!

Final Sewage Pollution Right to Know Regulations Announced

The state has finalized and posted regulations needed to implement the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act.

The Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act requires that untreated and partially treated sewage discharges are reported by publicly owned treatment works and publicly owned sewer systems within two hours of discovery to DEC and within four hours of discovery to the public and adjoining municipalities.

Regulation-related documents can be found on DEC's Recently Adopted Regulations webpage. Visit DEC's Sewage Pollution Right to Know webpage for instructions on how to sign up for public alerts.

Sewage Pollution Right to Know Grant Deadline Extended

The deadline for municipalities to submit applications for the Sewage Pollution Right to Know CSO Grant has been extended until August 26, 2016.

Through this grant program, $500,000 is available to assist communities with the detection, monitoring and reporting of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) to enhance compliance with the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act. Individual grants of up to $50,000 will be provided.

Visit DEC's Sewage Pollution Right to Know CSO Grant webpage for more information.

NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation Announces $942.5 Million in Low-Interest Loans for Water Quality Improvement Projects in New York City

The EFC Board of Directors recently approved a $200 million long-term low-interest loan for the City's Croton Filtration Plant and another $742.5 million to finance costs associated with wastewater improvements at treatment facilities throughout New York City.

These projects will enhance New York City's efforts to provide safe and reliable clean water systems. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, EFC remains committed to working with New York City and local governments throughout the state to finance important water quality protection and improvement projects, while reducing project costs and providing significant savings for our taxpayers.

Read more on EFC's website (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "links leaving the DEC website").

Reminder: Application Deadline for Hudson River Estuary Program Grants

Applications for the Hudson River Estuary Local Stewardship Planning and River Access and River Education grants must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on June 30, 2016. A direct link to the Grants Gateway is available on the right hand side of this page under "links leaving the DEC website." Approximately $1,250,000 is available. Visit the Hudson River Estuary Program's webpage for more details.

Proposed Lake Carmel Phosphorus TMDL Available for Public Comment

DEC has released a proposed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for phosphorus in Lake Carmel and will accept comments until close of business on July 1, 2016.

To view the proposed Lake Carmel TMDL, and to learn more about TMDLs, visit DEC's Clean Water Plans webpage.

How do I comment on the proposed TMDL?

Instructions for commenting on the proposed Lake Carmel TMDL are in the June 1 Environmental Notice Bulletin.

WI/PWL Water Quality Assessment Updates

Updates of water quality assessment information for individual WI/PWL waterbodies are announced through MakingWaves on the first Friday of each month. Most recently, WI/PWL Fact Sheets for the following watersheds/waterbodies have been revised/updated:

Additional updates of assessments for those waterbodies considered for inclusion on the 2016 Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters were also completed. The updated WI/PWL assessments evaluated in conjunction with the 2016 Section 303(d) List (PDF, 1.17 MB) includes waterbodies proposed for addition to, delisting from, or remaining on the 2016 List. A Proposed Final 2016 List is expected to be submitted to USEPA shortly.

Comments on these (or other) assessments are welcome via email.

Update efforts for waters of Long Island Sound are continuing. Assessments of waters in drainage basins where NYSDEC monitoring was recently completed - Delaware River, Genesee River and St Lawrence River Basins - are also underway and expected to be released this summer.

Draft Long Island MS4 Implementation Plan Announced for Pathogen Impaired Waters

The Department has drafted the "Implementation Plan for Pathogen Impaired Waters in Part IX.C of the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)" to provide guidance to MS4 Operators located within pathogen impaired watersheds on Long Island where EPA-approved total maximum daily loads (TMDL) require pathogen reductions from MS4 discharges to meet water quality standards.

Written comments must be submitted by close of business on June 24, 2016. View the May 25 Environmental Notice Bulletin for instructions on how to comment.

Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Grant and Engineering Planning Grant Available

The DEC is accepting applications for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) program and the Engineering Planning Grant. These grants are part of the NYS Regional Economic Development Councils Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "links leaving the DEC website"). The WQIP program has $25.9 million available and the Engineering Planning Grant has up to $2 million available. Multiple workshops are being held where presentations will be given on both grant programs (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "links leaving the DEC website"). All CFA applications must be completed by July 29, 2016 at 4:00 PM.

Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program

The WQIP program is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that funds projects that reduce polluted runoff, improve water quality and restore habitat in New York's waterbodies.

Engineering Planning Grant

DEC, in conjunction with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), are offering grants to municipalities to help pay for the initial planning of eligible Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) water quality projects. Grant funds can be used to pay for engineering and/or consultant fees for engineering and planning services for the production of an engineering report.

Division Webpages

Carpenter Falls
Carpenter Falls

The Division of Water's webpages fall mainly into one of the two following locations:

  • Water Pollution Control - Information, guidance material and forms about the programs the Division of Water administers to control sources of water pollution.
  • Lands and Waters - Water resource information is divided into the following categories:
    • Watersheds, Lakes Rivers: Information on NYS watersheds and other water bodies
    • Oceans & Estuaries: NYS marine and estuary resource information
    • Groundwater: Aquifer and groundwater information & resources
    • Dam Safety, Coastal & Flood Protection: Program information related to flood protection, floodplain development, dam safety, and coastal management
    • Water Supply & Reclamation: Information on protecting New York's public water supplies and drought information

Division's Mission

The Mission of the Division of Water is to protect and conserve the water resources of New York State. This mission is accomplished through a wide range of programs and activities. Some of these are statewide in their scope and apply to all parts of the state. Other efforts are targeted to address water quality and quantity issues in specific regions of the state, focusing on waterbodies or watersheds where these issues are of particular concern. Still other programs target specific contaminants (e.g., mercury) or sources (e.g., stormwater runoff) or impacts (e.g., acid rain) of pollution.

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