Blogs > Boat Blog > Hear it from a 4th grader: Why dump sewage into the waters of the world?

Hear it from a 4th grader: Why dump sewage into the waters of the world?


View more images on our Flickr site

We talk a lot around here about fecal contamination, but fourth-grader Lucy Bedell makes one of the best cases we’ve heard for infrastructure improvement. Read her school essay. Sometimes, only a kid can tell it to you straight. And she’s right. “Poop stinks. No one wants to smell it.”


Why dump sewage into the waters of the world? It’s much better to have clean water in the rivers and oceans around you.

By: Lucy Bedell

Poop stinks. No one wants to smell it. If you smell it near the water,
it’s probably in the water. Why dump sewage into the water? It is
gross. It smells bad. Also, it makes people sick! I don’t want to get
sick from swimming in the Hudson River, do you? What about the
animals? They get sick from raw sewage too! Additionally, during heavy
rains extra water pushes raw sewage into streams and rivers. The
streams and rivers will get polluted and that’s bad.

swimmersFirst of all, a lot of sewage goes into the water every year. For
example, 27 billion gallons of sewage is dumped into New York Harbor
every year. There is only one pipe that can take both the rainwater
and the sewage to the water treatment plant. When it rains too much
too fast, this overflows and the sewage goes into streams and rivers.
People say “We can’t dig up a whole city just to put in one more pipe
that will help the environment!” None of the people who live by New
York Harbor want to smell or swim in that sewage. Also, it can harm

Secondly, raw sewage is gross. It smells. Also, people have seen
“solids” bobbing in the water. Everyone thinks seeing raw sewage
floating in the water is gross. “That’s gross. But what if I don’t
smell it, I can still go there.” Say you are visiting New York Harbor.
Suddenly, you smell something gross. “What’s that smell?” you say to
yourself. Guess what? That’s probably all of the raw sewage in the
water. Because of that smell, people might never want to go there
again, making tourism dollars go away.

Thirdly, raw sewage hurts wildlife. If you are like me and you love
wildlife, you’ll probably be sad that fish and other animals are dying
somewhere in the world because of the raw sewage humans dump into the
water. “But what if I don’t care as much about wildlife as you do?
That means I wouldn’t care about what happens to all of the fish that
much.” Also, if you dump sewage into the Atlantic Ocean, it could end
up in the Pacific Ocean. You’ll never know where the sewage from your
town goes. Also, it makes algae blooms happen, which use up all of the
oxygen the fish need to breath.

Lastly, raw sewage hurts humans. No one wants to be sick. Even the flu
is not fun. This sickness would be much worse than the flu. You would
probably have to stay in the hospital for a very long time. It would
not be fun. “What if I just touched the raw sewage? Would I get very
sick? I definitely wouldn’t get sick from smelling it.” The reason you
would get sick is bacteria. If you went swimming in raw sewage without
knowing it you could get very sick.

So, now you know why everyone all over the world needs to stop dumping
raw sewage into the water. Even one gallon could hurt a fish or a
human. Like I said before, people have seen “solids” bobbing in the
water. Do you want to be the next person to see a “solid” bobbing in
the Hudson River? If I were you, I wouldn’t.

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
Become a Member