All Wet

After nearly 30 years living in the Capital Region, I’ve never taken a swim in the Hudson River. We’re not talking about the Upper Hudson, way the hell up around North Creek, no, I mean the Hudson River just a few miles from my house.

Growing up on Long Island, we were always at the beach — and easy access to the water and swimming is something I’ve always missed here. So a few years ago, I started looking at the river and thinking, “Why doesn’t anybody swim in there?”

I think I now know one reason after reading this headline, Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Widespread in Hudson River, Study Finds.

For years people have just assumed that the river is dirty, but the item in Infection Control Today sort of confirms the suspicions. While the study focused on the area between the Tappan Zee Bridge to lower Manhattan, I’m not sure that makes me feel better. Why so dirty you ask? This from the story:

“If you find antibiotic-resistant bacteria in an ecosystem, it’s hard to know where they’re coming from,” says study co-author Andrew Juhl, a microbiologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “In the Hudson, we have a strong case to make that it’s coming from untreated sewage.”

What? Sewage in the Hudson? There couldn’t be sewage in the river… except for sewage like this, I guess.

In light of all this, I’m leary of taking the plunge. Unless there’s going to be a giant container of hand sanitizer waiting for me when I get out.

2 thoughts on “All Wet

  1. In my youth we heard horror stories of blue skin from the dye from the General aniline plant, or kids popping up with a turd on their head. But by the late 60’s the river was “cleaned up” and we would occasionally take a swim by Van Wie’s point. Still was kinda creepy tho.

  2. I always find it amusing when folks argue about removing 787 to restore the waterfront of the city of Albany. Really? For what? Yes, the view would be nicer, and I’m sure the ensuing parks would be bucolic enough, but the Hudson as a body of water, is utterly disgusting. You can’t swim in it, you can’t consume the fish out of it, it usually emits a foul aroma and I even find the prospect of boating on it kind of icky. It serves it function as gigantic drainage canal well enough.

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