Together, we have made remarkable progress in reclaiming the Bronx River for recreation, education, and enjoyment. The Bronx River LTCP represents a significant opportunity to safeguard and build on our achievements by addressing a major source of pollution in the river: combined sewer overflows.
Most fundamentally, the Bronx River LTCP must reduce the volume of combined sewage into the river to greatest reasonable extent. This is essential to safeguarding the health of the people and wildlife who use the river.
Nutrient Load and Dissolved Oxygen
• Minimize sewage discharge volume to reduce nutrient levels that lower available dissolved oxygen and threaten wildlife.
If chlorination is selected as an option to reduce bacteria levels in the river, we urge DEP to:
• Reduce volume treated as much as possible to realize co-benefits such as reduced nutrient levels discussed above.
• Ensure that the residual discharge of chlorine in the river is zero. Install de-chlorination facilities, if necessary.
• Perform daily water quality monitoring when disinfection is in use.
• Conduct ecological surveys to track long-term effects of chlorination.
In order to minimize the volume of sewage in the river, DEP should expand green infrastructure (GI) in the watershed by:
• Embracing GI options beyond street bioswales to include green roofs, pervious pavers, etc.
• Explore new options to incentivize GI, such as rain barrels and green roofs, on private property.
For more detail, read the full text of the Bronx River Alliance’s comments click here!