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Tarrytown Sewage Break May Affect Ironman Race

This story has been updated with comments from Thomas Lauro, Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities.

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – A Sleepy Hollow beach is closed and Westchester County residents are being advised to avoid direct contact with the Hudson River because crews are still working to repair a Tarrytown sewer line.

A county health alert issued Wednesday evening is still in effect. Philipse Manor Beach Club president Thomas Andruss said the club's beach had been closed, but the club itself was still open.

“This is an unfortunate incident, and the timing is never good, but we are ready to handle it,” he said in an email.

The sewage line break took place on Leroy Avenue Wednesday. County officials said millions of gallons of sewage was expected to be diverted into the Hudson River in a controlled discharge so that the line could be repaired. Chlorinated sewage was expected to be released into the river in Sleepy Hollow and potentially Yonkers.

Boaters, kayakers and swimmers are advised to avoid contact with the water from Croton Point Park south. It was unclear how the sewage discharge would affect the upcoming Ironman competition in New York City this Saturday, which includes a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River.

“We are diligently monitoring the situation and are working with local entities to ensure the appropriate testing protocol is followed,” a statement from the Ironman organization said. “Athlete safety is our first priority. We will be sure of the water quality and that the venue is safe before we allow our athletes to swim on Saturday.”

Andruss said club officials were also monitoring the situation.

“We will reopen our beach when the county indicates that it is safe to do so, which hopefully will be very soon,” he said.

Thomas Lauro, Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities, said the pipe may be fixed by Friday.  County health officials will be testing the water quality and the health advisory will remain in effect until testing shows the water is safe, he said.

The break occurred around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, and about 500,000 gallons of  sewage flowed into the Hudson via the Saw Mill River in Yonkers by Thursday morning. Then a diversion was set up to discharge the sewage into the Hudson River at a Sleepy Hollow outpost, Lauro said. The sewage is treated with chlorine before it's released into the river.

“That is ongoing until we fix the pipe,” Lauro said, adding that he could not estimate the amount of sewage being discharged into the river from the Sleepy Hollow site.

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