Sewage Leak Makes Swimming Unsafe in the Hudson

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The beach at Croton Point Park should be avoided this weekend. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza
The beach at Croton Point Park should be avoided this weekend, as should other Hudson River beaches. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- Untreated sewage has been dumping into the Hudson River since Wednesday at approximately 5:15 p.m. Residents are being advised to avoid direct contact with the Hudson River through at least Sunday.

Fire damage at a wastewater treatment plant on W. 135th Street and 12th Avenue in New York City caused the plant to begin dumping raw sewage into the Hudson River. New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) says that models indicate there will not be an immediate effect to beaches because of the Hudson River’s “dilution capacity,” but that some beaches will be unfit for swimming and other recreational activities this weekend.

Recreational users of rivers and beaches are advised to avoid the river this weekend. People have been advised to avoid kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, swimming and any other activity that brings residents into direct contact with the river. The city parks department is placing signs prohibiting such recreational activities along the Hudson River this weekend.

According to the DEP the Hudson River, the East River from the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge to Verrazano Bridge, Harlem River and the Kill Van Kull to the Goethals Bridge will be “unfit for swimming” this weekend.

The “estimated time to bring the plant back online is undetermined,” according to the DEP. Some of the wastewater has been diverted to the Wards Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. Some water being dumped into the river is being treated with chlorine to minimize bacteria in the river.

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