Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Up shit's creek

From the New York World:

The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has advised residents to avoid direct contact with the Hudson River, East River, New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay and Kill Van Kull until continued water quality testing by the Department of Environmental Protection deems it safe for recreational use. The waters were contaminated when untreated wastewater flowed directly into them from treatment plants overwhelmed with flooding or power outages in Hurricane Sandy’s wake.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has received reports of 12 facilities that experienced flooding, ten that reported partially treated or untreated wastewater flows since Monday and four that are still discharging sewage, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. A press release stated “there is no accurate way to determine the amount of partially treated or untreated flows entering waterways.”

This issue of raw sewage getting into otherwise-safe water is partly a result of the fact that New York City has outdated infrastructure. These days, it is standard for municipalities to separate their systems for collecting wastewater and storm water — bringing the former to a treatment plant and the latter directly back to rivers and lakes. But cities like New York have combined systems that take in both sewage and rain water and bring all of it to treatment plants. This becomes a problem in times of heavy rains or extreme weather like hurricanes, when the systems can overflow and release untreated wastewater.

This poses obvious health and environmental concerns. One Environmental Protection Agency report for the New York region lists the various pollutants that could be released in the event of sewage overflows — including bacteria like E. coli, viruses, and industrial waste like oils and metals. Though actually drinking the contaminated water is the most likely way to get sick, people can also fall ill after eating fish from the water, swimming in it or inhaling its vapors, according to the report. Diarrhea and nausea are the most common symptoms.


Jerry Rotondi said...

Are you kidding?
I'm already canceled my "recreational" canoe trip along the Hudson.

As far as the East River goes--it's been polluted for as far back as anyone can remember.

Swimming lessons anyone?
Bring your own protective wet suit!

Anonymous said...

Yo! LOL!
There must be some heavy SHIT goin' down in those waters.

Oops, I think I just saw a turd flotilla pass under the Triboro Bridge.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Jimmy Van Bramer, in his flurry of press releases, will let the people at LIC know about the water quality that just flooded their little tykes' bedrooms.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy loves sewage. He's a "scat queen"!

Anonymous said...

The shit is in my back yard!
I don't need to be in the creek!