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Sewage Overflow in South Troy


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First observed on 6/5/13

While investigating a large unexplained discharge just north of the Wynants Kill in South Troy with DEC officers Lieutenant James hays and ECO Scott Daly we found a hidden large volume sewer overflow discharging into Wynants Kill approximately 100 yards from where the Kill meets the Hudson. The discharge is high volume and has been ongoing for a long time judging by the masses of toilet paper attached in the “stream.” The discharge comes from an approx. 3’ diameter pipe which is very old (it is laid up of brick). I collected water samples to test for Enterococcus and have incubated a 100 ml sample as well as 1/10 and 1/20 dilutions.

The discharge “stream” is completely coated with toilet paper

During high flow periods the level is higher, indicated by toilet paper on branches

The discharge “stream” is hidden by vegetation and is in a deep ditch

The sewage stream runs about 50’ before it meets the Wynants Kill.

Sewage on right meeting Wynants Kill on left

Old pipes are a terrible legacy – a look into our past. So much waste has been discharged into the Hudson. It’s a wonder there is any life left in the River at all.

This raw sewage discharge is the first one to be reported since March 2012, when the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) hit Rensselaer County, and the cities of Troy and Rensselaer, with fines of up to $650,000 for hundreds of illegal sewage spills into the river going back as far as 2006.

Under the Consent Order that was signed at that time, DEC can invoke fines on future spills like this one. We are awaiting news on how DEC will respond to this discharge.

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