Sewage games! Manhattan leads Bay Ridge, Coney Island in wastewater contest

Hole in one: Dan Luffredo, a member of the “Coney Island Warriors,” sizes up his rivals during the city’s 25th Annual Operations Challenge, where five teams of wastewater treatment workers compete against each other in feats of skill and strength.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

It’s the wide world of wastewater sports!

Five teams of city sewage workers competed against each other in feats of skill and strength during the 25th Annual Operations Challenge at the Owl’s Head wastewater plant on Tuesday to earn bragging rights over their brainy and brawny brethren.

Department of Environmental Protection workers fixed leaky pipes, tested wastewater for pollution, repaired heavy machinery, and showed off how they would rescue team members from confined spaces during the first day of the two-day competition at the Bay Ridge plant.

But Brooklyn’s teams endured a frustrating morning.

Owl’s Head’s “Sludge Fellas, the home team and winner of last year’s sewage games, finished the day in fourth place, edged out by the Coney Island “Warriors” and the Jamaica “Sludge Hustlers,” who came in third and second, respectively.

The day belonged to the North River “Harlem Pump Trotters,” who emerged in the lead and are in a good position to sweep the games with only the sewage trivia portion remaining on May 1.

It could be a redemptive victory for the Harlem-based sewage workers, whose plant caught fire and flooded millions of gallons of raw sewage into the city’s waterways last July, forcing the closure of several beaches.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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