Valentine Encore! Virtual Tour: Newtown Creek Wastewater Facility

Love infrastructure? By popular demand, NYC DEP and OHNY are offering an encore happy hour tour of the city’s largest sewage plant.

The NYC Department of Environment Protection (DEP) and Open House New York (OHNY) Valentine’s Day virtual program sold out in less than a week, so we’re offering an encore happy hour tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility.

Join us to take a peek inside the city’s largest sewage treatment plant, where wastewater—collected from storm drains and the toilets and sinks of more than one million New Yorkers—is cleaned each day in a complex system, including eight giant stainless steel digester eggs.

This event is hosted on Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent out at 5pm on February 17 from The event will be recorded and shared with registrants.


Program Details

Originally opened in 1967 to treat wastewater from portions of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility, located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is the largest of New York City’s fourteen treatment plants.

In the 1990s, DEP began planning for a comprehensive, $5 billion upgrade of the facility to meet new standards of wastewater treatment. DEP engaged Polshek Partnership (now Ennead Architects) to work with engineers Greeley and Hanson, Malcolm Pirnie and Hazen and Sawyer, to guide the architectural character of the upgraded facility.

According to lead project architect Jim Polshek, “Complex feats of engineering can also be significant works of architecture.” This virtual program will focus on Polshek’s award-winning architectural master plan and the ways in which design innovation helped to balance the requirements of large-scale water pollution control with community amenities, like improved waterfront access and public art.

In addition, participants will learn about how the digester eggs got their shape, why you should not take a shower during a rain storm, and the real problem with “flushable” wipes. The program will include a behind-the-scenes video tour, a conversation with DEP Director of Public Design Outreach Alicia West, and plenty of time for audience Q&A.