Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome Citizen Sewage Watchdogs!

There is a trend afoot of citizen watchdogs witnessing and documenting the failure of their local sewage infrastructure. We applaud these people and encourage more to join their ranks!

One such watchdog, Andy Hudak, witnessed a massive sewage overflow when walking along the Saw Mill River in Yonkers after a heavy rain. His report of that sewage spill started a Riverkeeper investigation, which in turn led to a New York State investigation, into the failure of the sewage infrastructure in Westchester County, NY.

Another highly successful sewage watchdog action was this video documenting raw sewage flowing into the Gowanus Canal during a heavy rain.

This graphic video has been viewed more than 40,000 times at the time of this post. At Riverkeeper we happen to know that it has also gotten the attention of NY State and NYC officials, concerned about public opinion and growing concern over our failing wastewater infrastructure.

Here is a great example from Goshen, NY, of a planned sewage overflow documentary. These folks knew where to go in a rain event - to storm drains, manholes, pump stations and the waterways where the sewage overflows are dumped (like the Gowanus).

If the sewage infrastructure in your community is taxed to the point of failure, document it, post it and send us a link. We want to hear about it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Floating Debris on the River

Day 1 of 5 day patrol - Ossining to Kingston

River at some locations is full of floating debris, mostly wood, millions of water chestnut seeds, some trash. There was a monster high tide a few days ago and there has been very little wind since. All this stuff was lifted off the bank by the high water and it’ll take wind to sweep it all back ashore. It forms long lines or rafts where it’s being captured by the current. Some you can steer around, others you just have to slide through dead slow.

These photos taken between Storm King and Newburg - Beacon Bridges.

Day 2 of 5 day patrol- Kingston north

Early Sunday morning at Kingston. Unloading “days catch” from yesterday. Containers, one tire on rim, dock foam, bait containers. This is stuff just grabbed with dip net underway yesterday.