Loomstate Visits Newtown Creek
We recently took a casual office outing...to New York's largest wastewater treatment plant! Doesn't sound like the most ideal way to spend an afternoon, but we wanted to learn more about the waterways around NYC and whether or not we should be surfing after a big rain. Some interesting points are below, but feel free to tweet us other questions you have @Loomstate_org.
- The first wastewater treatment operations in New York began in 1886 in an effort to protect the recreational beaches on Coney Island.
- The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 and set standards for wastewater treatment in all US states.
- The 14 treatment plants in New York process 1.8 billion gallons of wastewater per day that is transported through 7,400 miles of sewer pipes.
- Up to 15 minutes of rain (1/2 an inch of rain max) can be efficiently processed in New York. Passed that, the excess waste is fed into local waterways!
- Processed sludge is transported to Ohio, Texas, Florida and Colorado to be used as fertilizer in agriculture. It truly is all connected!
- New York drinking water is cleaned using UV light, no longer with chlorine.
What does this mean for us?
- We should be more conscious of what you put down the drain and flush. Chemicals, pharmaceuticals, fats, and non biodegradable materials should not be put down the train, as they can end up right back in your waterways.
- Simply use less water in your daily life.
- If your favorite surfing spot it near a wastewater treatment center, maybe think twice about surfing after it rains!
- Stick to tap water and reduce your use of plastic water bottles for the environment and your personal health.
For further reading visit the DEP website.