New York City leaders must constantly overcome the challenges of wastewater management, flood protection, and pollution reduction resulting from the city’s dense population. Adding to these challenges, 2012’s Superstorm Sandy revealed the significant vulnerabilities of Brooklyn’s 26th Ward Wastewater Treatment Plant. Flooding in the building itself, coupled with an onslaught of stormwater, resulted in the plant’s closure, leaving 89 million gallons of partially treated water to be dumped into the Jamaica Bay. When it came time to rebuild, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection took the opportunity to make innovative improvements, and took a triple bottom line approach, considering the economic, environmental, and societal impact. The plant’s capacity was increased, reused materials were incorporated when possible, and a green roof was added, all the while making the plant more resilient to wet weather.
Gamechanger added in 2016.