New York City Working to Improve Subway Drain Cleaning Schedule

With storms like Hurricane Ida increasing the threat of flooding, officials are looking to better the 15-year cleaning cycle that has been the past standard for the subway drain system

New York City Working to Improve Subway Drain Cleaning Schedule

(Photo by New York Daily News)

Interested in Municipal/Industrial?

Get Municipal/Industrial articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Municipal/Industrial + Get Alerts

Increased drain cleaning will be vital to preventing flooding issues in New York City’s subway system in the future.

According to the New York Daily News, a recent watchdog report revealed that the city is currently on a 15-year cycle for cleaning the entire subway drain system. That rate isn’t going to cut it in a world where storms like Hurricane Ida occur more frequently.

But the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is working on a new system to streamline the process of cleaning the subway’s 10,000 drains.

“NYC Transit’s annual goal for track drain cleaning is currently 150,000 linear feet. However, with 418 miles of drains in the system, this figure represents only 7% of the total,” the report by the MTA inspector general states.

The report recommends using collected data on the drains to build a “drain cleaning frequency algorithm” that helps determine factors like what areas need to be cleaned more often, when they should be cleaned, and how long it takes a specific drain to clog again after being cleaned.

According to the New York Daily News article, progress has been made in recent years. Subway drain cleaning improved in 2017 when the governor’s Subway Action Plan funneled $198 million into track and maintenance work, much of it going to outside contractors so that most of the subway drains were cleared in only two years.

Now the hope is to maintain a better cleaning schedule than every 15 years and not constantly just deal with clogged drains as they’re discovered. In response to the inspector general’s report, MTA officials said they are collecting the recommended data that will eventually speed up the cleaning work.

“As of May 2021, we have inspected approximately 80% of the 9,845 drains identified. All drains will be cleaned on a minimum of a 4-year cycle,” said MTA’s response.

Source: New York Daily News


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.