Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Officials Issue Warnings Due To Harlem Wastewater Plant Sewage Dump

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TWC News: Officials Issue Warnings Due To Harlem Wastewater Plant Sewage Dump
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Though crews worked to repair the fire-damaged North River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Harlem Friday, a recreational water advisory will remain in place through the weekend.

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway said two engines and the pumps connected to them are back up and running as they handle new sewage while trying to catch up on backup. The plant had been discharging up to 130 million gallons of wastewater a day into the Hudson River.

"There is a heroic effort out there to get the plants back on as quickly as possible and ensuring very dramatic results," said Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith.

"We're gonna make sure that we understand what happened, how it happened, why, what we can do to avoid it in the future," Holloway said.

The cause of Wednesday's fire has not yet been determined.

Riverbank State Park, which sits atop the facility, reopened this afternoon.

City health officials are still advising New Yorkers to avoid swimming at South Beach, Midland Beach and Ceder Grove Beach on Staten Island, as well as Sea Gate Beach in Brooklyn.

Residents should also avoid eating fish caught in the affected waterways.

The warning is in effect through Monday.

Officials say nearby beaches like Coney Island will be safe for swimming.

A warning was already in place banning water activities in the Hudson, East and Harlem Rivers as well as New York Harbor.

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