100,000 gallons of poop water flowed into the Hudson River last Sunday

Written by
Clayton Guse
Photograph: Shutterstock

Last Sunday evening, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation issued an alert noting that roughly 100,000 gallons of sewage overflowed into the Hudson River near Albany, making one of the state's shittiest rivers even shittier. 

The discharge occurred as a result of a "snow melt event" when temperatures warmed up across the Northeast over the weekend. During last week's blizzard, the Albany area was hit by more than 17 inches of snow, which was much higher than the seven inches that got dumped on New York City. The ensuing thaw was too much for the local sewer systems to handle, and so for an estimated 75 minutes, poop water flowed into the river.

The affected facility in Albany is one of 76 combined sewer systems in the entire state. Those systems are generally associated with older municipalities, and are set up to have water from storm drains pour into the sewer system. When there is simply too much water in the system, the excess sewage pours into the adjacent waterway. This phenomenon is called "combined sewer overflow," and the state has a handy graphic that shows exactly how it happens:

The alert for the area is in effect until 11:20pm Thursday night, and the incident is not expected have any significant impact on New York City's waterways, according to the DEC. If you were considering taking a dip in the Hudson this weekend, a whole mess of poop being dumped into the river probably wouldn't deter you anyway. 

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