Hudson River Teeming With Sewage-Linked Bacteria: Study

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This week's heat wave has many in our area heading to the water, but a new study from Columbia University suggests cooling off in the Hudson might not be a good idea.

Researchers found drug-resistant bacteria at several spots in the waterway from the Tappan Zee Bridge to Lower Manhattan. The bacteria enters the river whenever the city's sewer system is overwhelmed after a heavy rainfall.

Suzanne Young, a doctoral student at the University of South Florida working with researchers at Columbia, says she would avoid any water near the shoreline or south of the George Washington Bridge.

"It's more about when rather than where because of these combined sewer overflow events, so if it's just been raining, then I would avoid submerging yourself in the water," she said.

Those with compromised immune systems, the very young or the very old are more at risk.