NYC
01/22/2013 05:02 pm ET

New York City's Newest Power Source Could Be Its Sewers And Reservoirs

NEW YORK - MAY 27:  Pedestrians walk over a sewer grate May 27, 2003 in New York City. Last year, the U.S. Environmental Prot
NEW YORK - MAY 27: Pedestrians walk over a sewer grate May 27, 2003 in New York City. Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sought to require the nation's 15,000 water and waste treatment plants, and chemical manufacturing plants to judge the vulnerability to terror and criminal attacks and to take steps necessary to reduce the risks. A bill in Congress provides about $200 million to help cities meet the mandate. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

More than a billion gallons of water travel through New York State every day, starting upstate and journeying down to the city and the sea, and driven almost entirely by gravity alone. The city's watershed includes 19 reservoirs, three lakes, 7,000 miles of water pipes, tunnels and aqueducts, and 7,400 miles of sewer lines -- and perhaps many megawatts of untapped energy.

Through Thursday, the city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is collecting proposals from consultants interested in assessing the hydroelectric energy pent up in the city's water system. Legislation passed by the City Council last spring directed the agency to conduct a study of hydropower possibilities.

Read more on Energy drink

CONVERSATIONS