The cleanup of the Gowanus Canal may take a lot longer than expected, and there could be luxe condos lining its shores long before it's done. The scope of the problem and the clean up strategy were discussed during a meeting in Carroll Gardens last night that was full of euphemisms like "floatables" (crap floating on the canal) and "CSOs" (raw sewage flowing into it when it rains) as well as dates and dollar figures. The thumbnail is that the city's end of the package will cost $125 million and that the Army Corp of Engineers might start dredging the "black mayonnaise" from the bottom by 2013. Also of note: the flushing tunnel that keeps the stink down will be shut down next September for a major overhaul, except that the stink in the meantime will get worse because no fresh water is flowing into it.
Here's the good news and the bad news, which in many cases, are the same thing:
1). 300 million gallons of untreated sewage and storm water runoff flow into the canal every year.
2). The city might dredge accumulated "sediment" from the canal sometime between 2010-2013, and this should put some cut on the stink.
3). There might be a "floatables boat" that travels the canal skimming crap from the surface.
4). The Army Corps of Engineers "ecosystem restoration" might include a major dredging or capping the toxins at the bottom of the canal, but it won't do anything until after city does its work. They mentioned 2013, but given that a 'three-year study" has already taken seven years, sometime around 2020 could be a Golden Year for Brooklyn's Grand Canal.
5). The highly toxic Public Place site was once considered for big sewage holding tanks that would prevent it from flowing into the canal when it rains, but now they're building housing there.
6). The goal is getting the water to the point where fish (regardless of the number of eyes they have) can stay alive; no swimming expected any time soon.People hanging out canal side cabanas might push the cleanup a bit faster, though.
· Gowanus Canal Cleanup Coming...Eventually [Gowanus Lounge]
· Gowanus Update: Time and Money [Brownstoner]