"Sewage Routinely Taints Hudson, Study Shows"

"Sewage routinely contaminates the Hudson River throughout the year, rendering the waterway unsuitable for swimming and other recreational activities for at least one and a half days a week, a report based on four years of water testing shows."

"The comprehensive study, released on Tuesday by the environmental group Riverkeeper, shows that the recent sewage spill as a result of a fire at a treatment plant in Manhattan reflects a widespread and regular problem along the 155-mile river. Despite much improvement in water quality since passage of the Clean Water Act in the 1970s, the group said, 21 percent of water samples taken have unacceptable levels of bacteria because of problems like discharges from aging and failing sewage treatment plants, sewage overflows caused by rain and poorly maintained septic systems.

“More and more people are fishing, swimming and boating in the Hudson,” Riverkeeper’s president, Paul Gallay, said in an interview. “If we invest in water quality infrastructure and enforce clean water laws, this recreational renaissance will continue. If we fail to take care of the river, we lose the gains we’ve made and the economic benefits that go with them.”

The group’s assessment, based on more than 2,000 water samples collected at 75 sites between Albany and New York City from 2006 to 2010, offers some surprises."

Mireya Navarro reports for the New York Times August 9, 2011.

Source: Green (NYT), 08/10/2011