Demanding answers after sewage spills in Troy not reported

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Many are concerned in the Troy community after a massive sewer overflow into the Hudson River went unreported for days.

Over the Fourth of July holiday, after storms ripped through the Capital Region, something had spilled into the Hudson River.

More than one million gallons of sewage, the storm overwhelming Troy’s sewer systems.

“It would be in people’s houses; it would have flooded the streets,” Chris Wheland, Superintendent of the Department of Public Utilities, said.

People spending time by the river had no idea.

The city did not notify the public or DEC until days later, which is a violation of state law.

“That’s the concern. It’s all about transparency. It’s all about reporting the requirements. The law is on the books to ensure health and safety, for people recreating along Hudson River,” Carmella Mantello, Troy City Council President, said.

Wheland says there was a communications breakdown.

“We’re trying to do less with more. When you do less with more, people get overworked, overwhelmed. I mean, we’re only human,” Wheland said.

He says the sewer overflow could not have been prevented it.

Wheland says the city doesn’t have the funds to improve its infrastructure and divert the sewage elsewhere.

“I don’t like it going into the river. I like the environment, and I want to save the river. For now, it’s that point in time we are trying to make corrective actions on what’s been done in the past based on new regulations.”

DEC could fine Troy more than $37,000 for each day it went unreported.

The city says it will work on investing in projects to expand the sewer systems.

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