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Riverside So. sewage plant declared not at capacity.

A New York City Planning Commission meeting was stunned to hear the North River Sewage Plant is not at capacity and has not been for six months.

Residents of the area, as well as drivers on the West Side Highway, who long endured a horrendous stench, became aware in early summer that the smells had dissipated.

Environmental Protection Agency Commissioner Albert F. Appleton testified at a hearing held to review the Riverside South development and its impact on the treatment plant. Appleton revealed then that the plant has been operating under capacity for at least six months, primarily due to leak detection and inspection.

Marla Simpson, a land use planner with Borough President Ruth Messinger's office, said "none of that is news." She said they disagreed with the way the measurements are made as well as how meaningful they are.

EPA spokesperson Ian Michaels said the plant is rated at 170 million gallons per day and currently flows an average 162 million per day.

"Even if we have the extra capacity, that doesn't mean we want to use it all [for Riverside South]," he said. "It's still to be decided if they have to build their own package plant." Since 70 percent of Manhattan is connected to sewers which carry both sanitary sewage and rainwater, there is still a problem when it rains.

When it rains some of the stuff goes to the plant," Michaels said, "and there is a guy who throws a switch when it fills up and it goes into the river."

The Riverside South draft environmental impact statement envisions an output of .67 million gallons per day by 1997 and 1.33 mgd after full build out in 2002.

Michaels said more sensitive computerized equipment was installed to control the oxygenation process that was causing sludge to float in the tank. Additionally, at a cost of $1 million, covers are going to be installed on the aeration tanks as well as a few selected arches that currently allow Hudson River winds to blow the smells over the West Side. Other odor prevention measures are also in the works.
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Title Annotation:Riverside South property development; New York, New York
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Sep 23, 1992
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