Waste and Water | A People's Guide to Infrastructure in New Haven
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Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech on slavery in New Haven in shortly before he secured the Republican nomination for President.
The American Civil War boosted the local economy with wartime purchases of industrial goods, including that of the New Haven Arms Companywhich would later become the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Winchester would continue to produce arms in New Haven untiland many of the buildings that were a part of the Winchester plant are now a part of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company Historic District.
Jewish immigration to New Haven has left an enduring mark on the city. Westville was the center of Jewish life in New Haven, though today many have fanned out to suburban communities such as Woodbridge and Cheshire. Post-industrial era and urban redevelopment[ edit ] The historic New Haven Greenca. The city reached its peak population after World War II. Moreover, as in other U.Blizzard 2011 - New Haven, CT
One author suggested that aggressive redlining and rezoning made it difficult for residents to obtain financing for older, deteriorating urban housing stock, thereby condemning such structures to deterioration.
Lee began some of the earliest major urban renewal projects in the United States.
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Certain sections of downtown New Haven were redeveloped to include museums, new office towers, a hotel, and large shopping complexes. The Oak Street Connector Route 34running between Interstate 95, downtown, and The Hill neighborhood, was originally intended as a highway to the city's western suburbs but was only completed as a highway to the downtown area, with the area to the west becoming a boulevard See "Redevelopment" below.
Ina series of criminal prosecutions against various members of the Black Panther Party took place in New Haven, inciting mass protests on the New Haven Green involving twelve thousand demonstrators and many well-known New Left political activists. See "Political Culture" below for more information. From the s through the late s, central areas of New Haven continued to decline both economically and in terms of population despite attempts to resurrect certain neighborhoods through renewal projects.
Waste and Water
In conjunction with its declining population, New Haven experienced a steep rise in its crime rate. The Connecticut Financial Center, completed inis the tallest building in New Haven Since approximatelymany parts of downtown New Haven have been revitalized with new restaurants, nightlife, and small retail stores. The City ranked the majority of the outlets with at least a 2 out of 5; with an average score of 2.
Processing sewage produces a thick mixture called sludge which may contain a variety of substances such as flame retardants, pesticides, herbicides, radionuclides, hospital waste, and cleaning and personal care products; incinerating sludge thus emits harmful compounds like mercury, benzene, and dioxin into the water and atmosphere, which can lead to illnesses such as cancer and birth defects.
Incinerating sludge releases a variety of compounds into the atmosphere, which causes pollution and threatens the health of local residents. The East Shore plant is located behind Woodward Avenue, near a residential area. In fact, it is not farther than meters away from the nearest cluster of homes. Residents, however, oppose not only the fact that sludge incineration put them at a higher health risk but also how the plant has been processing sludge from outside the region.
Through a contract with Synagro, a private company that provides waste capture and conversion services, the GNHWPCA has been processing 18 tons of sludge from other places outside of the four constituent municipalities. Although in the New Haven Board of Alderman unanimously passed a non-binding resolution that requested the GNHWPCA to end all sludge agreements with outside municipalities, to enter into no new agreements involving sludge incineration and to replace sludge incineration with better technology bythe GNHWPCA has yet to finalize its decision.
DiGangli himself did not show much enthusiasm over potential alternatives to sludge incineration, mainly remarking on cost concerns during a meeting with the New Haven Board of Aldermen. To what degree must he respond, though, is another matter. Activists and residents may protest, write letters to the GNHWPCA, and debate at public meetings, but the fight against a quasi-governmental authority will be difficult, not to mention that New Haven is not the only municipality that it officially serves.
While regional networks provide advantages to cities, problems arise when a member of that region raises a concern that affects only that member. Such is the case for New Haven; however, while sludge incineration directly affects residents who live near the plant more, a much greater population must also shoulder the negative consequences since the chemicals released during the sewage process can enter the air and water and settle in the soil, which truly makes this matter a threat to public health for many.
Money and the Environment While a number of residents, activists and local officials fight for the noble cause of environmental protection, financing infrastructure continues to be a salient issue in city politics. Activist Lynne Bonnet has been an opponent of spending more public money on sewage plant upgrades and holding tanks receptacle for sewage ; she and as well as others have called for green alternatives.
In a Board of Aldermen meeting incity official Rob Smuts suggested that the city implement a new Stormwater Authority. Taxpayers are wary of this new plan, which would involve charging stormwater removal fees; the current system covers stormwater costs through property taxes. While the City continues to find ways to improve and finance its stormwater management plan, the GNHWPCA has recently planned to implement a project in East Rock that would construct a mile of separate stormwater pipes, 37 manholes, 24 new catch basins, and seven bioswales as a part of its CSO-TCP.
These bioswales would be located along Clark and Orange Avenues, slightly below street level between the curb and sidewalk; filled with soil, gravel, and vegetation, these natural infiltration systems will help reduce stormwater runoff from exacerbating combined sewer overflow into local waters. Soil, gravel, trees, and plants help to absorb and slow down stormwater runoff.
With bioswales and meters of pervious concrete sidewalk to absorb the stormwater, this project is considered to be the largest undertaking that integrates green infrastructure for stormwater management in the city. While many environmental-conscious folks receive this news with joy, others may feel less enthusiastic about the price tag that comes with this new construction. Taxpayers once again must decide whether or not to support such a project. Nevertheless, this project will lead the city toward a more sustainable solution, one that will reduce stormwater runoff as well as other environmental impacts associated with constructing or upgrading grey infrastructure.
Although infrastructure costs, especially initial investments, can at times hamper the advancement of innovative ideas and technology, a shared vision, such as improving water quality by reducing stormwater runoff, among people can catapult the city and regional officials to invest in new infrastructure.
Farmington Canal Originally constructed to ease trade between inland Connecticut and the New Haven coast, advocates of the Farmington Canal also believed that the Farmington Canal had the potential to act as a source of water for public use.
Five years later, the Water Company and the City of New Haven entered into a year contract for the Company to supply water for public purposes. Eli Whitney joined the New Haven Water Company team when he was asked to lead the construction of the first waterworks, on the Mill River; the dam that was constructed created Lake Whitney.
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When water first began pumping through them, the length of the water mains reached nearly 18 miles throughout the city; water wheels were used to pump the water until steam pumps were installed in Inthe first filtration plant was also constructed to filter the water supply from Lake Whitney, with the Armory Street Pumping Station facilitating the filtration.
Figure 9- The New Haven Supply and Distribution Mains in This map reveals the extent to which the water infrastructure had been developed by and mirrors the street grid.
New Haven Water Company,15, This diagram from a New Haven Water Company brochure explains to residents how the water supply system operates. Reservoirs collect water, which then flows through a series of stations that filter the water and provide treatment with copper sulfate and chlorine to prevent algae and bacterial growth.
Standpipes provide high-pressure water flow to reach higher-elevation areas in the region. New Haven Water Company,2. Bythe Water Company owned 26, acres in seventeen towns around New Haven, though only four acres were located in New Haven. A proposal by the Company to sell more than half of its holdings to private developers instigated a statewide discussion on the merits of private ownership of the water supply.
This controversy laid the foundations for the creation of a public regional water authority. This political cartoon appearing in the February 6, edition of the New Haven Register describes the tension between the City of New Haven and the surrounding towns. As New Haven threatened to exercise its option to purchase the New Haven Water Company, the towns feared that a single neighboring city, not required to pay any taxes, might own thousands of acres of their land.
An agreement to form a public water utility, in which each town was represented, was eventually reached.
Bennitt and Dorothy S. Water is sourced from ten lakes and three aquifers. Although there are 15 reservoirs within the RWA system, most are not used for the water supply. The latest reservoir to be reactivated was Lake Whitney, just outside of New Haven and unused between andupon completion of the new Whitney Water Purification Facility.
A design committee composed of neighboring residents selected Steven Holl Architects from an initial list of The building itself has the largest green roof in the state 30, square feet and is temperature controlled by geothermal wells. The design evokes its function and reflects the surrounding landscape. Figure New Standards for Infrastructure Design Steven Holl Architects designed the Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park, which opened in to process water from the first New Haven Water Company reservoir; it does so within an award-winning structure, which also includes a public educational center.
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Public discussion over this contrast in cost arose in Marchwhen the Board of Aldermen unanimously agreed to ban the purchasing of bottled water by the City. The proposal was advanced by the Board because for times the cost of tap water, the City and its people were no better off than if they had simply drunk tap water.
First, bottled water quality is not necessarily better.
Until Julybottled water was not required to undertake as stringent testing and there were fewer restrictions on treating bacteria and contaminants as compared to city tap water systems. Second, bottled water is detrimental to the environment and its users. The manufacturing of the plastic for the bottles and their transport, miles in the case of New Haven, contributes to fossil fuel emissions for wholly unnecessary reasons.
Lastly, New Haven committed through the U. Despite the action taken by the Board of Aldermen, they did not have jurisdiction over the sale of bottled water in schools. Additionally, the removal of water jugs in municipal offices was a change in working conditions that had to be approved by each municipal union, and in December the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations validated a complaint that each union did not sign the same waiver, implying unfair implementation; the result was the resumption of bottled water delivery to City of New Haven offices.
Water Consumption Efforts periodically arise to raise awareness of the extent to which each person consumes water, especially during the occasional drought warnings; remedies to limit usage include affixing devices to sinks and showers that reduce the flow of water, in some cases without reduction in pressure.
Part of the challenge in reducing consumption is that water prices are extremely low, especially compared to bottled water or other liquids, a fact that does not discourage usage. One of the reasons why they are so low is that users only pay for the supply of the water and not the water itself, a situation which leaves regions vulnerable to water crises and contentious battles over water allocation.
Furthermore, the tension between water for human consumption and for the environment has an impact on the water supply. Based on this new authority, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection proposed rules almost five years later that faced fierce resistance by water utilities and businesses.
These rules were unanimously rejected by the Connecticut legislature regulations review committee on the basis of fears that they would lead to shortages and higher prices.
Revised rules that set a lower minimum for the amount of water that must be released from dams were approved in Water consumption remains a long-term issue that New Haven and Connecticut must address.
The Department of Public Works took over control in and still remains in charge of the system today. The first garbage trucks in New Haven were metal wagons that picked up trash every three to four days from November to April and alternate week days May to October.
Yet the garbage disposal system was highly unreliable, as trash was left on the street or dumped into backyard lots, resulting in widespread sanitation and public health issues. Garbage that was successfully picked up by wagons was transported to one of fifteen city dumps or a private dump. This picture shows how garbage would pile up in backyard plots of poorer sections of the city.
Yale University Press, One of the 15 city dumps that was run by the municipal government. Yale University Press, In addition to the city dumps, New Haven operated its own hog farms, in which garbage was fed to the pigs.
It was commonly held that this removal method was an economically efficient way to decrease the amount of trash generated from the city. Public health officials advised the city government early on that this was not a good idea.
An issue of the Bridgeport Herald in informed citizens that these pigs were consuming Paris green, carbolic acid, and waste from patients in hospitals, decreasing their life expectancy. Furthermore, New Haven, and many other state governments, persisted feeding hogs garbage, insisting that that method was better than incinerators or other removal systems. Twenty out of sixty six American cities with more thanresidents used hogs as a method of trash removal by This practice ended up directly causing a series of trichinosis cases in the s.
The argument that cooking trash reduces the risk of foreign animal disease and other pathogens in pigs is still held as true. Today, Connecticut allows cooked garbage fed to swine. As New Haven has developed, the garbage disposal network has expanded to fit the needs of citizens. Private institutions, such as hospitals and schools, including Yale, have their own trash removal systems and incinerators.
Municipal garbage trucks operating in residential areas collect trash once a week; the day of pick up depends on where you live in the city. To dispose of residential waste such as tires, metal, electronics, and yard waste, citizens must use coupons to drop off their waste at the Transfer station on Middletown Avenue, run by the New Haven Solid Waste and Recycling Authority.
Coupons are free, but only four residential waste and four yard waste coupons are allocated to each citizen. One coupon permits a citizen to dispose seven items of residential waste each visit. This map shows the current routes of the garbage trucks serving New Haven residencies.
Each color-coded area represents one route to follow. This incinerator was built inand is still there today, but it does not perform as an active landfill. By the s, the physical area of the landfill had diminished because of the large amounts of waste deposited, causing the landfill to encroach on the Quinnipiac River.