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Sewage Spill Stopped in Westchester; Advisory To Be Lifted

A broken sewer line in Tarrytown sent thousands of gallons of sewage into the Hudson River -  at one point threatening part of the first-ever New York City Ironman triathlon. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has the latest...

The line broke Wednesday afternoon in the vicinity of Leroy Avenue - about 500,000 gallons of chlorinated sewage flowed into the Hudson by way of the Saw Mill River in Yonkers by Thursday morning. A diversion was then set up to discharge the sewage into the River at  Sleepy Hollow. Crews worked around the clock to make the repairs as quickly as possible.  It was the fourth time the line failed since 2010. Beaches at Westchester’s Croton Point Park and at the Philipse Manor Beach Club in Sleepy Hollow were closed.

Westchester and Rockland health officials warned against swimming in or touching the water at all points south of Croton Point Park.

At one point the discharge threatened part of the Ironman U.S. Championship on Saturday, which includes a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson off New York City as part of a triathlon. The swim's starting point is approx. 15 miles south of the discharge site.

The emission coincided with Governor Andrew Cuomo's signing the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act, a new law that requires the quick reporting of sewage spills and leaks. Discharge notifications are currently provided to certain public officials, but not the general public.

County workers replaced a 20-foot-long, 30-inch-diameter section of pipe. Officials say all repairs to the broken sewer line have now been completed and sewage discharges into the Hudson River have ceased.

Westchester Health Department spokeswoman Heather McGill responded to a call for comment by email, noting the advisory that had been posted for swimmers and recreational water users from Croton Point Park and points south in Westchester, is being lifted this evening at 11pm, because the elapsed time since the discharge stopped would have allowed it to dissipate.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.