Comprehensive Sewer Investigation and Rehabilitation Program


The City maintains nearly 200 miles of stormwater and sanitary sewers. The majority of these sewers are over 100 years old and have fallen into disrepair. Issues caused by the aging sewers have caused flooding, backups, and have allowed sewage from sanitary sewers to infiltrate into the storm sewers that flow to the Hutchinson and Bronx Rivers, which is a violation of Mount Vernon’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit and the Clean Water Act. The City is entering into a consent decree with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) in which the City agrees to perform comprehensive sewer investigations and rehabilitation to improve its infrastructure and perform work to comply with the Clean Water Act. 

For more information on the consent decree and the City’s plan to meet the requirements of it, visit the City’s Consent Decree page.

Renewed Investment in the City Infrastructure

The City has received funding from several state and federal government sources to help meet its commitment to improve water quality and renew infrastructure. On April 15, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a historic $150 million investment to improve the City’s water infrastructure. The announcement included $15 million in funds immediately available to the City, including $7 million for the Third Street Pump Station Project and $8 million for emergency sewer repairs and lead pipe replacement. Additional funds will be available in the form of grants and long-term financing. 

Funding available for Residents

Three million dollars were allocated for homeowners in Mount Vernon who have been impacted by the water infrastructure crisis through the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery’s Healthy Homes Program. Participating homes may be eligible for assistance including backup valve installation, water and sewage line replacement, pipe repair, and sewer/wastewater flood damage repair. 

Residents can find more information about the program and how to apply for the Healthy Homes Program at the links below. 

Program Fact Sheet (PDF)

Grant Application Page

Progress So Far

Third Street Pump Station

Historically, sewage was discharged to the Westchester County sewer through a 10-inch vertical pipe approximately 100-feet in length located on Third Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenue. This pipe became clogged, reportedly resulting in sanitary sewer backups in several buildings along West Third Street.

Due to the difficulty in repairing and maintaining the vertical pipe, which is not a typical design, a new pump station will be constructed.

The design of the Third Street Pump Station has been completed and construction is planned to start in the spring of 2023.

Sewer System Cleaning, Investigation, and Rehabilitation

The City has a priority list of sewers they visit monthly for cleaning to prevent blockages and backups. This priority list of sewers for cleaning are also high priority sewers for rehabilitation, as much of the cleaning is required due to defects in the pipes that cause a partial blockage and restricted flow. In 2022, the City repaired several of these sewers and was able to remove many of these segments from the priority cleaning list.

Areas with storm and sanitary sewers repaired in 2022 included Grand Street, Macquesten Parkway, Beechwood Avenue, and Hutchinson Boulevard.

The City is implementing an aggressive and comprehensive sewer cleaning and investigation program to eliminate illicit discharges and improve the integrity of the sewer systems. The City completed investigation and testing of the stormwater outfalls and identified the areas of the City that had the highest pollutant loads. The Outfall 24 drainage area was identified as the greatest polluting drainage area as it made up 95% of the pollutant load from the City’s storm outfalls sampled. The area includes 39 miles of storm and sanitary sewer. Additional sampling was done within Outfall 24 to determine the highest priority areas for upcoming investigation and rehabilitation work.


The City has been able to hire new staff for the Department of Public Works. The new staff includes a designated stormwater coordinator and four new field staff. The additional field staff have increased the Department’s ability to provide preventative maintenance to areas of the City that frequently experience flooding and backups.

Equipment and Maintenance

The City purchased the SL Rat & CUES SPiDER Manhole Scanner to improve the DPWs ability to identify issues in the sewer systems. The SL Rat tool detects blockages in sewers, and the CUES SPiDER Manhole Scanner provides 3D surveys of manholes. These tools are being utilized by the DPW to quickly identify and resolve problems in the storm and sanitary sewer systems. 

The City has also purchased and received a new Clamshell Truck which is being used to clean catch basins throughout the City and prevent street flooding during rain events.

Upcoming and In Progress Work


The City has started creating a comprehensive digital map of the City’s stormwater and sanitary sewer systems using Geographic Information System (GIS). Mapping of the stormwater and sanitary sewer systems will assist in tracking down illicit discharges and recording the completed sewer rehabilitation work. The completed digital map will also be able to be used by field staff to quickly track down sources of problems in the sewers and work completed. Mapping of the sewers systems has focused on the high priority areas of the City, as mapping of the sewers will assist in identifying illicit discharges and tracking sewer repairs. Mapping of approximately ½ of the City’s stormwater and sanitary sewers have been completed in GIS. The rest of the mapping is anticipated to be completed in 2023.

Third Street Pump Station

The construction of the new Third Street Pump Station is in progress. This project consists of installing a new underground pump station, approximately 400 feet of sewer on West 3rd Street, and an emergency generator. Construction is anticipated to be completed in December 2023.

The new pump station will alleviate the risk of backups in the area and will allow for the removal of the temporary bypass pumping system that has been in place on Third Street since 2021.


Sewer System Cleaning, Investigation, and Rehabilitation

The City has an aggressive sewer cleaning and rehabilitation program planned for 2023. The City advertised two projects related to the program. Bids have been received and agreements will be in place by the end of April. The first project is for cleaning and inspection of all storm and sanitary sewers in the Outfall 24 drainage area. Work will include tracking down illicit discharges so they can be eliminated as well as cleaning and televising sewers to determine the condition.

The second project is for sewer and manhole repairs. As sewer inspections are completed under the sewer investigation and cleaning project, the inspection data will be evaluated and sewers with significant defects will be repaired or replaced. The City has an initial list of 30 locations for sewer rehabilitation as an initial work assignment once the agreement is in place. The map linked below show the locations where repairs have been completed and where upcoming repairs are planned.

Recently Completed and Planned Sewer Repair Locations (PDF)

Flood and Sewer Backup Mitigation 

The City has identified areas where flooding has historically occurred and performs regular cleaning of the sewers in these areas to prevent further backups and flooding. These areas have also been prioritized for sewer investigation and rehabilitation.

Future Plans

After the investigation and repairs are completed in the Outfall 24 drainage area, the City plans to complete a systematic investigation and repair of the entire storm and sanitary sewer systems to improve the resiliency of the sewer system and eliminate any remaining sources of illicit discharges into the City’s storm sewers.