After a fire on Wednesday night at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Harlem shut the plant down and forced the city to start pumping raw sewage into the Hudson, we warned yesterday that the Hudson was not exactly fit for swimming or kayaking or fishing or walking near and breathing deeply. City officials have declared it “unfit for recreational activity” — translation, if you get in, you might start vomiting, become feverish, or have diarrhea. Yuck. The warning is in effect until at least Sunday. Since the plant is still “offline” it keeps spewing its nasty shit into the river, which means…that sewage situation has continued to worsen. Now the East River south of the RFK Bridge (as well as the Harlem River and New York Harbor) are also off limits unless you are prepared to face the consequences. Riverbank State Park has also been shut down.
The Department of Environmental Protection continues to say, at this point, that most public beaches are still okay, though it may be a matter of time, given the 130 million gallons of wastewater pouring out of the plant daily. (South, Midland and Cedar Grove beaches on Staten Island and Sea Gate in Brooklyn are considered off-limits at this time.)
Surrounded by sewage, plus heat of 101 degrees: Own it. You really have no choice. Pools! Pools are okay!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 22, 2011