$35,000 grant given to expand studies into Saw Mill River water quality issues

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A new grant has been given to the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak so that it can expand its studies of water quality issues plaguing the Saw Mill River.

Ryan Palmer, the director of the center also called CURB, says every spring and fall he and his team test water samples from 16 different sites across the river.

CURB began monitoring the river five years ago. In that time, Palmer says the research found consistently high levels of fecal bacteria.

Palmer says while his team cannot pinpoint where the bacteria comes from, he suspects some of it is from aging sewage infrastructure - a nationwide problem the Hudson Valley knows too well.

On Sunday, a main break in Ossining spewed approximately 15,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Hudson River.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced last week a newly created position that would look at the county's seven sewage treatment plants and 13 sewer districts.

Palmer says CURB's goal is to find solutions or regulations to restore the river. The Westchester Community Foundation is offering the center a $35,000 grant to expand those efforts in 2020.

He says the research has also attracted attention from the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation.

CURB welcomes volunteer “community scientists” to get involved in their research. If you’re interested, click here for more information.


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