City of Poughkeepsie Releases Informational Video about Combined Sewer Overflows into the Hudson River
The City of Poughkeepsie has produced an informational video to explain the impacts of increased ground saturation due to rain and snowfall that can overwhelm the sewer system causing “combined sewer overflows” or CSOs. The video also details the millions of dollars the city is investing in improving the sewer system infrastructure and plans for short- and long-term solutions with the eventual aim of limiting overflows completely.
Mayor Rob Rolison said, “Like many cities, Poughkeepsie has a sewer system that is almost a century old. The system was designed to collect sanitary sewage, rainwater runoff, and industrial wastewater in one pipe and bring it to the Water Pollution Control facility (WPCF). Today’s best practice is to have separate pipes. In approximately two thirds of the city, the system already separates sanitary sewage from stormwater. In older areas, that work still needs to be done.”
Recently, the state passed the “Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act.” The state Department of Environmental Conservation requires each permit holder — such as the City of Poughkeepsie — to post online when there’s an outfall.
“The CSO overflow is never only sewage,” Rolison said. It is always heavily diluted by stormwater before it reaches the Hudson River, where billions of gallons of water dilute it more. Poughkeepsie is in compliance with all New York State regulations.”
In the video, Dan Shapley, water quality director for the environmental group Riverkeeper, said that The Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act raised awareness that money needs to be invested for cities like Poughkeepsie to stop sewage overflows. Allocation of $2.5 billion through the Clean Water Infrastructure Act in 2017 was the first step. Mayor Rolison said grants have helped make a lot of the necessary work possible. “We have already spent millions of dollars making things better in our clean water and water pollution control systems and will continue to do so for years to come,” Mayor Rolison said. “We are grateful to Governor Andrew Cuomo for the funding that he and the state have made available through the Environmental Facilities Corporation which is helping to advance our long term planto prevent any sewage overflow ending up in any body of water.”
A full length version of the video and related information can be seen on the City of Poughkeepsie website: http://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/cso