Clearwater Educator Maija Neimisto and Yonkers resident Andy Hudak
sample the discharge.
While on our October water quality sampling patrol, friends from Clearwater alerted us to a sewage discharge in Yonkers. With their help, and the help of a local kayaker, Andy Hudak, samples were taken and delivered to the patrol boat for incubation. The results?
The samples reach the maximum that our system can read - 24,196 Enterococcus per 100/ml - that's 400 times greater than the maximum safe level of Enterococcus as defined in the EPA clean water standards.
Local and State agencies knew about the discharge - an estimated 4.4 million gallons coming from a broken sewage main in Tarrytown. Was the public notified? No. Were people kayaking and fishing nearby? Yes.
New York State needs a Sewage Right to Know law to ensure that our public health officials take the actions necessary to protect the public from contact with known sewage overflows when they occur.