Stephanie GiangJul 19, 2018, 12:59 pmJul 19, 2018, 2:49 pm

Heavy rains forces treatment plant in Poughkeepsie to flush waste into Hudson River

Facility’s administrator says spill content is minimal and won’t impact residents

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POUGHKEEPSIE — More than 400,000 gallons of untreated waste was released into the Hudson River, with alerts sent out to the community on Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings.

Poughkeepsie's Water Treatment Facility administrator Randy J. Alstadt, P.E. says it's not unusual for waste water treatment facilities to overflow during storm events.

"There’s a billion gallons-plus a day going down the river. If you take the amount of flow that came from that spill; it’s less than 0.03 percent. So it doesn't have a big impact overall to the river, and so dilution is the key factor as far as the spill into the river," Alstadt says.

He adds that the waste water treatment plant in Poughkeepsie was overwhelmed by heavy rains on Saturday and Tuesday. That forced the facility to flush the excess water before it could be processed. But he ensures that their facility has three types of disinfection units that are on 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the treatment would not impact neighbors.

"We have ozone, which is an oxidant that is very effective in killing things. Then we have UV light and chlorination. So any kind of biological activity is not make it through the process," Alstadt says. “Also we have an optimum treatment for coagulation and filtration systems. So, I don’t think that there would be any impact to the customers. There’s nothing to be concerned about. We have very high quality water treatment facility here and, again, the dilution factor really blesses us."

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