One day after sewage from the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant started backing up into nearby homes due to catastrophic failure at the plant caused by Superstorm Sandy, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said workers have been successful in diverting the mess away from homes.
The plant, which typically treats 70 million gallons of influent per day, is now treating 85 million gallons to help relieve the system, Mangano said Wednesday during a press briefing in Hempstead, adding that the order to conserve drinking water will remain in effect for the next couple of days.
The county also issued a Public Health Emergency on Wednesday in response to the plant failure.
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But the plant still has “significant problems,” he noted, including sewage spewing out of two breached piping systems. The breach caused the sewer pipes to collapse and release raw sewage into the street.
“The Public Health Emergency is lessening,” Mangano said, adding that assessment of the “significant damage to the plant” is still ongoing.
The troubled plant treats water for approximately half a million residents in Western Nassau.
Mangano also announced that a county vehicle collapsed into a sinkhole and is sinking onto one of the pipes in East Rockaway. The county health department was investigating the incident.
Residents south of the Long Island Expressway, from the Queens border to the Meadowbook State Parkway, are included in the order to conserve drinking water with the exception of Cedarhurst and Lawrence, said county officials.
The water in the area has been tested and is safe to drink, officials added. The only residents impacted by any drinking restrictions are in Long Beach and Mill Neck due to contamination, they said.
The failure at the Bay Park plant prompted the county to initiate a three-part mitigation plan that includes up to 30 days of triage repairs and six to 12 months of comprehensive repair of the facility.