Sewage Dumped into Hudson After Blaze in Treatment Plant

Sewage Dumped into Hudson After Blaze in Treatment Plant

July 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

MANHATTAN — Untreated Sewage from an uptown treatment plant was being dumped straight into the Hudson River after a four-alarm fire.

A massive fire at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant at 725 W. 135th St. forced the evacuation of Riverbank State Park and closed a portion of the West Side Highway. Twitter/phlpp7r.

The sludge from the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant started to be released into the waterway Wednesday.

“Starting around 5:15 p.m. … untreated wastewater started to be directly discharged into the Hudson River,” the Department of Environmental Protection said in a statement.

The DEP said the plant, located west of the Henry Hudson Parkway from 137th Street to 145th Street, needed to be shut off as it reached full capacity and stopped treating the waste.

Crews were working through the night to get the plant running again as soon as possible.

The Health Department is warning swimmers and kayakers to stay out of the Hudson River. The release could also affect area beaches, expected to be packed with New Yorkers trying to escape temperatures forecast to top 100 degrees on Friday.

DEP officials said it would take at least 48 hours of continuous discharge of sewage before it affected beaches.

Earlier Wednesday, an explosion triggered a roaring blaze in the plant that forced the evacuation of thousands of people from nearby Riverbank State Park and spewed a 30-foot plume of fire into the air.

The fire, which also snarled traffic on the West Side Highway, broke out in the engine room of the  plant, at 725 W. 135th St., at 11:46 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said.

Several workers told DNAinfo that they had been having problems with one of the engines on Tuesday.

Read the full post at DNAinfo.