New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP)


Brooklyn, NY



Water: Water and Wastewater Treatment, Water and Wastewater Pump Stations


Planning/Pre-Design: Utility coordination

Design: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical/HVAC Engineering

Owls Head Wastewater Treatment Plant Resilience Upgrades

After Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge, the Owls Head Wastewater Resource and Recovery Facility (WRRF), which is located adjacent to New York Bay, was severely impacted by the resulting flooding. To protect this essential facility from future damage, the NYCDEP selected STV to design flood mitigation measures for the 10-building facility and process areas.

The goal of the project is to make the WRRF more resilient against elevated sea levels and flood events that result from a storm surge. Because the plant serves more than 758,000 residents in Western Brooklyn, the protection of the Owls Head WRRF infrastructure against flooding is critical for the continued service and operation of the facility, protection of the residents residing in the tributary areas, and water quality improvement of New York City’s waterways.

The WRRF contains a number of areas and hundreds of assets that are vulnerable to flooding.  These assets are critical for treatment processes including pretreatment (primary screens and pumping), primary treatment and disinfection. To comply with water quality regulations, process and supporting equipment are located throughout the facility.  Protecting the WRRF infrastructure would also help eliminate the possibility of sewage overflowing into local water bodies or backing up into homes, businesses, and community facilities. Flood protecting these areas will also reduce the flood damage costs and provide plant staff with the ability of rapid recovery to normal operations following an extreme flood event.