Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Unsafe Sewage Levels in Canal" / "Bacteria Count High in Gowanus"

The Daily News featured an article by Erin Durkin yesterday (6/9) entitled, "Unsafe Sewage Levels in Canal" / "Bacteria Count High in Gowanus". Below are excerpts:

Durkin writes: "New tests have found sky high levels of bacteria found in human waste in the Gowanus Canal."

"Water quality test conducted by River Keeper ....late last month found enterococcus up to 17,329 cells per 100 milliliters. The Environmental protection Agency (EPA) has said contact with water higher than 104 cells is unsafe."

"If enterococcus is there in that quantity, every other bug, every other bacteria, or virus or pathogen that was in the untreated sewage is probably there in equal proportion, including E. coli and salmonella," said John Lipscomb, captain of the group's patrol boat."

That water is bad water, very bad water," he said.

"Water samples were collected in May 29 after two wet days dropped half an inch of rain on the city"......

"It didn't take a lab test to show there was something funky in the water. Oily residue coated the surface, and dozens of condoms, sanitary devices, and gutter trash ....floated by when a Brookly News reporter went out on a boat."

"This is a day that really shows how broken our wastewater system, Lipscomb said."...

"He said that of the dozens of locations Riverkeeper tests-from new York City to north of Albany-only the Gowanus and Newton Creek show contamination levels as high.."

Sewers overflow into the Gowanus up to 75 times per year dumping some 300 million gallons of sewage into the waterway said City Department Of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla. Some advocates say the estimates are too low because they use outdated rainfall data........" (edit)


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........