Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gowanus Canal Water Quality Sunday

Canal with Swan

On this somewhat gloomy Fall Sunday, we're not sure a discussion of Gowanus Canal water quality--or of the long and uncertain time frame for cleaning things up--brightens things. Yet, here we are. Today's Times considers the often reported topic of the canal's water quality and a pending cleanup. The Times City Section story says, in part:
Neighbors have complained of geysers of water — the back flow when the canal floods — capable of lifting manhole covers on nearby streets. A group of biology students at the New York City College of Technology found gonorrhea in a water sample. And the canal’s smell, while weaker, is far from gone.

A new $125 million project, announced piecemeal over the last few months by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, is designed to address these problems. Starting in July, the city will widen the tunnel that brings harbor water into the canal, and install three pumps to replace the propeller, which turned out to be inefficient and prone to corrosion.

The city will also redirect to a treatment plant about 120 million of the roughly 370 million gallons of sewer overflow dumped in the canal every year. Ten to 20 percent of that mixture is untreated sewage.
In the meantime, the blog Erro(r) Ink also takes up the topic, including our own item about people fishing in the canal and taking the catch home for dinner. The blogger writes of the canal itself:
Though the canal looks, and smells, far better than it did prior to 1999, the view from the Third Street Bridge reveals the canal’s continued shortcomings. Weeds attempt to survive in the barren parking lots of factories littered with garbage and air filled with the scent of industry...On a typical weekday afternoon, pedestrians on the bridge come to cross the canal and continue on to their destination, not relax to the sound of dump trucks passing, horns blaring and the hum of industrial machinery.
As we previously noted, 2012ish will probably be a good time for the Big G cleanup. In case you missed them, you can check out our vid of the Gowanus Canal Swans.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

A "new 125 million dollar project"??

What is new about rebuilding 1909 infastructure? What is new about replacing a force-main that once carried sewage from the Gowanus many years ago?

Is there anything "new" here to handle all the "new" land side structures?
Is there anything "new" here that will resuce sewage loads for our future?

4:48 PM  

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