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Photograph: Filip Wolak

This map tells you if there's poop water at NYC beaches

By Clayton Guse

Poop water is everywhere in New York City lately. It rained from the ceiling at Penn Station last month. It flowed en masse into the Hudson River following a "snow-melt event" in March. Now, with the arrival of summer, it's invading beaches across the city. 

New York's beaches are often contaminated with sewage or storm runoff. According to the New York City Health Department, wading or swimming in contaminated water may lead to fun experiences such as vomiting, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses. 

Fortunately, the health department keeps a close eye on the water conditions on and around the city's sandy waterfront recreational areas. It even has a handy map that breaks down swimming advisories at all eight public beaches across town and each of the 17 private ones. 

The map is color coded by level of poop: Green means you're good to dog paddle wherever you please; yellow means you probably shouldn't go in the water, but no one's going to stop you; and red means that the water is so gross that officials are not permitting visitors to splash around at all. 

So if you're planning on turning into a beach rat this summer, it might be smart to bookmark the map. It could save you from a very uncomfortable experience. 

Click on the image below to see the map in all of its interactive glory. 


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