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Crews Fixing Sewage Pipe; Hudson Still Unsafe

OSSINING, N.Y. – Department of Public Work crews and contracted workers have removed a large tree that broke an 18-inch sewer pipe by the Killbrook Creek, causing sewage to drain into the Hudson River.

"I left (the scene) about an hour ago, and at that point there were crews working on removing the tree and lowering the new pipe into place," Ossining village Mayor William Hanauer said at around 1:15 p.m.

Hanauer said the old sewage pipe, which is broken at a location near the intersection of Water Street and Central Avenue, about a quarter of a mile from the Hudson River, must first be removed before the new pipe can be connected.

"That's time consuming," said the mayor, who did not have an estimate as to when the sewage leak would be fixed.

The mayor praised village Engineer Paul Fraioli and village Superintendent of Water Andrew Tiess, saying that the two were doing an "extraordinary job" directing activities up and down Killbrook Creek.

Tina Posterli, a spokeswoman for the Riverkeeper environmental watchdog organization, said the Riverkeeper boat captain was collecting water samples Friday morning from upper Haverstraw Bay to Irvington along the Westchester shoreline, and at mid-river points along the Rockland County shoreline. Test results should be available Saturday afternoon, Posterli said.

The county health department is advising people to avoid direct contact with the Hudson River until further notice, and it closed Croton Point beach and the Philipse Manor beach on Thursday in response to the sewage leak.

The broken sewer main was discovered Thursday afternoon after workers noticed that water downstream from where the break is was discolored, Hanauer said. It is not certain when the sewer main broke due to a fallen tree, the mayor said.

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