It’s going to be a hot weekend, but a beautiful one. What better time to take advantage of the vast recreational opportunities available on our city’s increasingly lively waterways? Kayaking, canoeing, swimming maybe (four hours in that chop and you’re an inch taller). Except that, in a case of unfortunate timing, this is actually the worst weekend for such activities, because as of right now, the city’s rivers are composed, to an unusually high degree, of sewage.
Thanks to a fire Wednesday night at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Harlem, 120 million to 130 million gallons of untreated wastewater is being diverted directly into the city’s erstwhile satisfactorily clean rivers each day. Consequently, the city has banned all water recreation north of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at least through the weekend — that means the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers — and has warned against swimming at four area beaches (Staten Island’s South Beach, Midland Beach and Cedar Grove Beach, and Brooklyn’s Sea Gate). And for the love of god, do not eat the fish.