Hudson River Sewage Inputs and Impacts Past and Present

Thomas M. Brosnan, Andrew Stoddard, and Leo J. Hetling abstract The quality of the Hudson River estuary has been negatively impacted for many years by the discharge of untreated sewage. The abatement of these discharges due to construction and upgrading of wastewater treatment plants (WTP) in the Hudson valley from the 1930s to the 1990s has significantly reduced loadings of suspended solids, oxygen demanding organics, floatables, and pathogens, with lesser reductions observed for nitrogen and phosphorus. In response, water quality conditions have improved significantly. Dissolved oxygen has increased from critically low levels to summer averages that exceed 5 mg l-1 and pollution sensitive insects and marine borers have returned to the estuary. Sanitary quality has also improved with most of the Hudson today considered to meet swimmable water quality standards. Consequently, shellfish beds and bathing beaches have been reopened in New York/New Jersey Harbor and additional beaches are being considered throughout the river. Priorities for the future include: increased capital and operations and maintenance investments for WTPs, improved capture and treatment of combined sewer overflows (CSO), and investigation of the need for nutrient removal.

0 0

Post a comment