Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ew! Hudson River bacteria linked to sewage

James M. O'Neill in Researchers have found antibiotic-resistant strains of disease-causing bacteria living in some near-shore segments of the Hudson River from the Tappan Zee Bridge to lower Manhattan, largely connected with raw sewage dumped into the river.

The heaviest concentrations of these drug-resistant bacteria were found along the Hudson's shoreline near Piermont Pier in Rockland County and at Yonkers in Westchester County. They were also found on the Manhattan side of the river at 125th Street, as well as in Flushing Bay near La Guardia Airport and in Newtown Creek, which separates Brooklyn and Queens.

...The locations with heavy concentrations of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria also had high numbers of certain bacteria that indicate the presence of raw sewage in the water. Many older sewer systems combine sewage and storm water from streets, but during heavy rains cannot handle the added volume and dump raw sewage into the Hudson through combined sewer outfalls....

Aerial view of the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson, shot by Ajay Tallam, Wikimedai Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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