By Justin Ward
North Atlantic Division
BROOKLYN, New York – Under a Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) mission assignment, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is working with the Passaic Valley Sewer Commission and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to return the Passaic Valley Waste Water Treatment Plant to service. This critical facility, located near the Newark airport, serves 1.3 million households.
When the record-level storm surge from Hurricane Sandy struck the New York-New Jersey metro area the rising salt water flooded elevator shafts, basements and tunnels at the plant with as much as 20 feet of water, totaling over 200 million gallons. Engineers from USACE’s Philadelphia District began removing water at noon on Nov. 2. The engineers used large, diesel-powered pumps during the initial stages of the operation and added smaller submersible pumps on Sunday.
Currently the operation is progressing with 15 pumps of varying sizes and capacities.
As of noon on Monday, pumping operations were about 70 percent complete, said Maj. Andrew Yoder who is overseeing the operation for USACE. Clean-up work will begin after the site is drained.