Language for Alley Creek Signage
Improving Water Quality at Alley Creek
New Yorkers produce over 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater every day. In most New York City communities the sewers combine wastewater from homes, schools, and businesses with stormwater from rain and snow. But combining wastewater with stormwater is a problem because heavy rainstorms can overwhelm the sewer system. To prevent wastewater from backing-up into our homes and businesses, the sewer system will release both stormwater and untreated wastewater into surrounding waterways. This is called a combined sewer overflow (CSO). Although treated wastewater ends up in our waterways too, it is the combined sewer overflow that is unhealthy for fish, wildlife, and recreation. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCEP) is making major strides to reduce overflows. In the 1980s treatment plants and sewers captured about 30% of overflows. Today, over 72% of overflows are captured, helping to make New York waterways the cleanest they’ve been in 100 years.