Superstorm Sandy released 11 billion gallons of sewage from East Coast treatment plants into bodies of water from Washington, D.C., to Connecticut, according to a report released Tuesday by a science journalism group.
Princeton, N.J.-based Climate Central, which compiled data from state agencies and treatment plant operators, did not look at the specific environmental or public health impact of the sewage overflows after Sandy, which struck in late October. But it said that bacteria in sewage can spread water-borne illnesses and have a particularly bad effect on shellfish.
The collective overflows — almost all in New York and New Jersey and due to storm surges — would be enough to cover New York City’s Central Park with a pile of sewage 41 feet high, Climate Central said.
About one-third of the sewage was not treated at all and the rest was not completely treated. The estimated repair costs is nearly $2 billion in New York and $2.7 billion in New Jersey.