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NYC beachgoers told to stay out of water after raw sewage spill

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • A sewage spill at a Manhattan wastewater plant has been brought under control
  • The spill occurred after a fire at the plant
  • Beachgoers are urged to avoid three beaches on Staten Island and one in Brooklyn
  • Authorities are warning against swimming and kayaking in the Hudson and East rivers

New York (CNN) -- Beachgoers are being warned to stay out of the water this weekend at four popular beaches around New York City after raw sewage from a Manhattan plant spilled into the Hudson River, authorities said.

Health advisories also have been issued for portions of the Hudson River, the East River, the Harlem River and the Kill Van Kull, cautioning people against participating in water-related activities such as canoeing, kayaking and swimming, according to the New York City Department of Health.

The sewage spill began Wednesday after a fire began in the engine room of the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, according to a press release Friday from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

The sewage spill was stopped Friday night, and two of the engines damaged by the fire have been brought back online, the department said.

The health advisories were issued for South Beach, Midland Beach and Cedar Grove Beach on Staten Island, and Sea Gate in Brooklyn, according to the release.

The beaches are not closed, but the New York City Department of Health recommends that people not swim or enter the water at those locations. They also recommend that young and elderly people, as well as anyone suffering from a medical condition, not go near the water at those beaches.

The advisories were expected to be in place until Monday. That would encompass one of this summer's hottest weekends, with the National Weather Service forecasting high temperatures Saturday of 99 degrees Fahreinheit and in the high 80s Sunday.

Additionally, authorities were testing the waters in the harbor and at other aquatic locales that could potentially be affected by the sewage leak, the press release said.

The plant is responsible for treating 120 million gallons of wastewater a day on Manhattan's west side.

CNN's Jordana Ossad and Laura Batchelor contributed to this report.