On days when it hasn’t recently rained, city waters are typically safe for kayaking and recreation. Really! But almost every time it rains, polluted stormwater runoff mixes with raw sewage in the combined sewer system and overflows into our waterways where people swim, fish, and boat. These are called “combined sewer overflows.” New York City discharges more than 20 billion gallons of sewage each year. That volume could fill the Empire State Building 72 times!The problem is as gross — and as dangerous — as it sounds. People who come into contact with contaminated water are at risk of developing intestinal illnesses, rashes, and infections.It’s time to take our waters back. Tell Mayor de Blasio to ensure that draft plans for sewage discharge reduction must be subject to public review.
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