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Land locked! Broken sewer main keeps Gravesend Bay off limits

It stinks!: Mel Gagliano of the Marine Basin Marina says the city’s planned waste transfer site for this location will be a disaster for Gravesend Bay.
Photo by Derrick Lytle

A Bay Ridge sewer main break is making waves in Gravesend Bay — but not the type anyone would want to swim in.

The break at 92nd Street and Third Avenue caused untreated sewage to slop into Gravesend Bay near Bay 17th Street. As a result, city officials say local seafarers will have to stay landlocked for the next couple of days.

The Department of Environmental Protection declared the waters between the Coney Island Creek and the Verrazano Bridge off limits to all kind of aquatic pastimes on Friday.

“Gravesend Bay is not fit for recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing or any other water activity,” the city announced, adding that anglers should throw back any fish they catch because of the threat of contamination.

Boaters say they will abide the city’s rules — but were glad that the this declaration wasn’t made two weeks ago.

“It’s after July 4, so most people have had their fill of water sports and want to take a break from it,” said Mel Gagliano a partner at Marine Basin Marina on Shore Parkway.

Gagliano said that he’s had to direct a few eager boaters back to dry land last weekend, assuring them that the ban will be lifted soon.

“The light and the chemistry of the seawater should break down the harmful microbes within a few days if they get the leak stopped,” said Gagliano.

Still, he hopes that the city hurries up and fixes the Bay Ridge sewer main.

“Next week, there will be much more people wanting to go out on the water,” he said.

The city said it is currently trying to plug the sewage back flow with emergency pipes and pumps, and is dumping bleach into the overflow to disinfect it.

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