Sewage leaking into the Hudson River

August 9, 2012 8:21:19 PM PDT
The Westchester County Department of Health is advising people who use the Hudson River waters for recreational purposes, namely swimmers, boaters, kayakers and windsurfers to avoid direct contact with the water from Croton Point Park and points south until further notice.

Thursday night, officials tested water from the Hudson River, trying to determine how safe or dangerous it is.

Earlier in the day, there was bad news for those arriving at Croton Point Park : the beach is closed until further notice. All because of a broken sewer line eight miles away.

A 40-year-old 30-inch pipe failed Wednesday afternoon. Normally raw sewage flows through it to a treatment plant. Instead, the sewage is being diverted directly into the Hudson River while crews work to make the repair.

Workers are treating the sewage with chlorine before it runs off into the river, but health departments on both sides of the Hudson are warning people to avoid coming into direct contact with the water.

The advisory extends from Croton south. Sewage is being discharged primarily in Tarrytown; a lesser amount is flowing down to Yonkers.

But, that's fairly close to Englewood, New Jersey where the swim portion of an Ironman Triathlon will be held.

Organizers are consulting with local authorities saying, "Athlete safety is our first priority. We will be sure of the water quality and that the venue is safe before we allow our athletes to swim on Saturday."

In the meantime, some residents are taking it upon themselves to warn neighbors of the potential risk.

Be advised to curtail your activities, including swimming, boating, kayaking, windsurfing and bathing in these waters until further notice.

Notifications are being made to marinas located on the Hudson River as well as to affected municipalities.

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