by Lisa Mucciacito
image via New York Daily News
The summer fireworks displays have nothing on the spectacular storms that have been watercoloring New York City’s skies (and wetting our feet) of late. Amidst puddle jumping and shelter hopping, I got to pondering how the City’s water treatment infrastructure manages to take a licking and keep on ticking (slightly strange, I know, but when it’s too wet for an iPhone, one has to keep one’s mind busy while waiting for the storm to pass).
image: Rohit Mattoo, flickr
Apparently, we New Yorkers generate 1.1 billion gallons of sanitary waste every day. The good news is we have 14 wastewater plants that are capable of treating 100% of that water. The bad news is a combined sewer system, like what we have in New York, collects all of the wastewater from storm drains and the sewer system, so when things really get wet and wild our system can’t keep its chin above water. Because of the limited holding capacity of the treatment containers, when capacity is exceeded, excess wastewater is discharged into the surrounding waterways- untreated.
Superslick Stingray and I will think twice about swimming local! Fortunately, PlaNYC is on the case, with an extensive plan to improve our water treatment and waterways. plan in place to help restore and preserve New York’s 520 miles of waterfront.
If, like me, you sometimes find yourself pondering odd things (you know, like wastewater treatment), you can visit the impressive Newtown Creek Visitor Center and take a physical tour of those wild Digester Eggs you may have noticed or, take a virtual tour with the Blue Man Group.
Looks like I’m not the only curious soul who got curious.
Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant