Monday, July 28, 2014

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Officials Advise Residents Not To Swim In Water Near Some City Beaches

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Due to a sewage dump from a damaged wastewater treatment plant, beachgoers are advised to avoid swimming in the water off four city beaches. NY1’s Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

Signs were posted at the entrance of four city beaches Friday — the hottest day of the year — indicating that beachgoers should avoid swimming and bathing in the water.

"I don't know, it really sucks, to be honest,” said one resident.

"It's, like, totally ruining my beach day," said another.

Staten Island's South Beach, Midland Beach and Cedar Grove Beach as well as Brooklyn's Sea Gate Beach all made the list as the result of a fire at a waste treatment plant that spilled millions of gallons of sewage into the Hudson River.

The Department of Environmental Protection is working on the problem, but in the meantime, officials from the Department of Health say to stay out of those waters.

"The reason is that for people who are particularly at higher risk for infection, if they were to swim in that water and get contact, there’s potential for them to get sick,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner. “But this is really in an abundance of caution. So again, it’s a recommendation, it’s not a closure of those beaches.”

The DOH is using computer modeling and sample testing to make sure the water is safe for swimming. The testing does have a 24 to 36 delay in results, however.

Beachgoers were happy for the abundance of caution, though some didn't heed it.

"You don't know what's in the water, what kinda disease they can get," said one.

"We're going to swim because in this weather it's a sin not to swim, right?" said another.

Officials say all of the other city beaches are perfectly safe for swimming, and with temperatures expected to soar the entire weekend, there's no doubt many will use them.

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