The city may be on the hook for an additional $200 million after the winning bidder on a contract for a proposed underwater filtration plant to be built under VanCortlandt Park said it could not take the work. The second-place bidder is currently contacting suppliers to see if it could complete the work for the $1.3 billion it bid last year. The proposed water treatment plant would filter the 10% of New York's water supply that it draws from the Croton Reservoir System. We wrote about the city's water filtration issues last summer. Water filtration for the city was mandated by the courts back in 1998, but things move slowly on projects this big and expensive. The city currently just treats its water with chemicals.

In other water-related news, there was a post last December that speculated "Why Pay For Water When Others Don't?". It was about the huge amounts of money owed to the city by delinquent consumers who never paid their water bills. The city's solution at the time was to shrug its shoulders and never actually turn those customers' water off. It turns out that the City Council has come up with a new solution: just charge everyone that does pay their water bills more. There will be a 11.5% rate hike on water in the near future. To his credit, Mayor Bloomberg recognizes the unfairness of this solution and characterized it as "an outrage".

(Newtown Creek Water Treatment Plant 2, by DeeperSea at flickr)