Water Quality > Water Quality Program > Accidental Sewage Releases

Accidental Sewage Releases

swimmers on 7-21-11 at GWB
People swimming in sewage contaminated Hudson River water on the 2nd day of the 3-day NYC sewage release, 7/21/11
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Riverkeeper tracks accidental sewage releases into the Hudson, taking action as needed to speed their clean up and alert the public. Below are reports from select accidental releases.

Most accidental sewage releases are not reported to the public. In some communities, like Westchester County, public notification is required by law. In most communities public notification is not required so Riverkeeper relies on reports from the public to inform us of accidents.

Report a sewage release to Riverkeeper.
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“Aging and Inadequate Wastewater Infrastructure” is ranked #2 on the NY State list of “Top 10 Water Quality Issues in New York.”

According to the NY State DEC report, “Wastewater Infrastructure Needs of New York,” many wastewater facilities in New York are past their expected useful lives, and maintenance and upgrades at these facilities is lagging far behind where they need to be to keep up with increasing demand. Statewide more than 30% of the systems are in excess of 60 years old, while they were designed to last 30 to 40 years. As a result accidental sewage releases from failing infrastructure plague many waterways across New York State, including the Hudson River.


Beacon, Sept. – Nov. 2011

Beacon Spill Location

A sewage release into Beacon Harbor reported to Riverkeeper by a citizen watchdog.
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Ossining, August 2011

Screen shot 2011-10-01 at 4.20.19 PM

Sewage release caused by a branch breaking a sewer main on Killbrook Creek, a tributary to the Hudson.
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New York City, July 2011

North River STP location

Three day sewage release caused by a fire at the North River Sewage Treatment Plant in Harlem.
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