Report: Superstorm Sandy dumped 11 billion gallons of sewage into waters from MD to CT

Hurricane Sandy responsible for major sewage dump

Baltimore, MD -  

A new report released says Superstorm Sandy released 11 billion gallons of sewage from East coast treatment plants into bodies of water from Washington D.C to Connecticut.

A group called,  Climate Central, said about 94 percent of the sewage flowed into rivers, canals and bays in New York and New Jersey, the states hit hardest by the storm that came ashore six months ago. In New York City alone, 1.6 billion gallons spilled into area waterways.

The collective overflows – almost all in New York and New Jersey and due to storm surges – would be enough to cover New York City's Central Park with a pile of sewage 41 feet high, Climate Central said.

In New York, the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant on Long Island was probably the hardest hit, according to the report. As much as 2.2 billion gallons of partly treated sewage poured into the Rockaway Channel until the plant was fully brought online nearly two months after the late-October storm, the report said. Over a billion gallons of untreated sewage flowed into the Hudson River from the Yonkers Joint Wastewater Treatment plant, in Westchester County.

The notable exception to storm-surge related sewage discharges was in Washington D.C., where instead, rainfall was the main culprit. Sandy produced 5.1 inches of rain in 24 hours, leading to the sixth-largest Sandy-related sewage overflow at 475 million gallons of untreated sewage and contaminated runoff. That was the only rain-related sewage spill in the top 30 overflows. Overall, heavy rainfall caused a reported 776 million gallons of sewage spills to waters in Mid-Atlantic States. The group said the estimated cost of repairing damage to sewage treatment plants after Sandy is nearly $2 billion in New York and $2.7 billion in New Jersey.

The effects of superstorm Sandy still remain visible today. Homes, businesses, and roads all remain decimated due to the hurricanes powerful winds and storm surge. The National Hurricane Center estimated Sandy's damage at $50 billion, second only to the $108 billion caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

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