The New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced plans Friday to resume the installation of new siphons at Schoharie Reservoir, which will help regulate water levels in the reservoir and allow workers to finish rebuilding the Gilboa Dam.

According to a media release from DEP, the three-week-long project will install at least one of two siphons to be added to the dam. Each siphon will be capable of releasing 250 million gallons a day from the reservoir into the Schoharie Creek, allowing DEP to manage reservoir levels and provide added flood protection downstream. Without the siphons, which draw water out of the resevoir over a barrier, diverting water through the Shandaken Tunnel and into the Ashokan Reservoir or operating the newly installed crest gates are the only ways to lower water levels.

The siphons are part of a $400 million rehabilitation project that includes reinforcing the dam with 234 million pounds of concrete, reconstructing the spillway and installing a new release tunnel around the dam from the Schoharie Reservoir into Schoharie Creek.

To install the siphons, DEP must lower the elevation of water in the Schoharie Reservoir. Work began Saturday with an increase in water flow from the reservoir through the Shandaken Tunnel, and operational releases from the Ashokan Reservoir. 

The diversions have been approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Reconstruction of the dam is expected to be finished in 2014.

DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing water to more than 9 million residents from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds. For more information, visit

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