Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (representational image) Commons

The construction industry workers have appeared as saviours for the New York City as they are trying hard to ensure that the locals don't face issues with the availability of water. They are working 55 stories underground beneath the Hudson River to repair leaks in an old tunnel that carries more than 85 miles of the city's water supply.

That means the water that comes into the tunnel from Catskill Mountain reservoirs fulfil half of the city's water requirements.

The leakage leads to the loss of around 18 million gallons every day, which is sufficient to fill almost 27 Olympic-size swimming pools. The loss is too big to be ignored. In the region, the limestone accumulation seems less dense, which made the tunnel to be protected with a steel sleeve.

However, it is believed that an unknown reason restricted the builders to extend it through the entire limestone formation. The gaps in the area have led to the leakage, which lets the water burble up into the river.

The workers have carved through a solid rock using a huge cylindrical borer to build a bypass tunnel to 2.5 miles around the worst leaks in the region.

"It's really the largest and most complex water tunnel repair that the city of New York has ever done," Department of Environmental Protection's Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. "There's a lot of moving parts that we've been wrestling with for several years now."

Delaware Aqueduct is the necessary channel that keeps everything running in NYC. A major portion of it was destroyed during World War II but it still carried almost 600 million gallons a day from four Catskill region reservoirs to supply water throughout the city.

According to reports, the Delaware Aqueduct will be shut down for a few months to create diversions.

The Delaware Aqueduct and Catskill Aqueduct collectively connect complex system that serves 9.6 million people in the city. The engineering experts and politicians compare the two landscapes to a collective network of 19 reservoirs, three lakes, and tunnels that connect to ancient Rome's grand aqueducts.

The Delaware Aqueduct underwent the digging for the first time in 2013 and the work still continues with an expected completion by 2020.