In a story about sewer plans today, I quoted Queensbury Supervisor John Strough saying that the Glens Falls sewage treatment plant only discharged 8,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Hudson River during one storm.
Troy and Albany had much higher spill-overs in that storm.
But I should have noted that Glens Falls usually discharges far more than 8,000 gallons. When the streets run with water, the water flows into the sewage treatment plant through the city’s many interconnected pipes, overwhelms the plant, and whoosh! Some of it is sent straight out into the river, untreated.
Last night alone, 44,000 gallons of sewage were sent into our river.
Now, that sewage has been well diluted by all that rain water, but don’t kid yourself. There’s a lot of raw poop going into the river, and the rain water isn’t exactly clean either. It’s bringing in oil, salt and other chemicals from the roads.
A resident wrote to tell me that I shouldn’t have let Strough minimized that situation without balancing his comment with facts about recent, larger, discharges of sewage. The resident said allowing the quote to go unchallenged was grossly misleading.
Here’s the link to the most recent discharges throughout the state. Go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/101187.html and click on “sewage discharge reports.”
In the last four months alone, Glens Falls discharged nearly 75,000 gallons of sewage – and that’s before the big discharge last night. The 8,000-gallon discharge was the smallest of all the recent discharges.
You’ll see that on June 13, there was a 15,000 gallon discharge.
On Aug. 3, 18,000 gallons.
On Aug. 4, 8,000 gallons.
On Aug. 17, 11,250 gallons.
On Sept. 26, 22,500 gallons.
All of these are estimated by the local plant workers, which critics have often noted means the situation could be even worse.