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Ruptured Sewage Pipe Repaired; Green Light Given To Ironman Competition

Sewage Lifted, Triathlon Officials Say Race Will Proceed As Planned
Crews work to repair a broken sewer pipe in Tarrytown on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

Crews work to repair a broken sewer pipe in Tarrytown on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

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SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Repairs to a 30-inch sewage pipe that ruptured in Tarrytown have been completed, Westchester County officials said Friday.

Crews had been working to repair the ruptured line since Wednesday. The break happened north of the Tappan Zee Bridge and inside the now-dormant Croton Aqueduct, sending large amounts of sewage into the Hudson River.

“The (raw sewage) had to go someplace so it doesn’t back into people’s homes or flood streets,” Westchester County DEP Commissioner Thomas Lauro told CBS 2’s Lou Young.

While chlorinated and lightly sanitized, the Department of Health originally issued an alert warning people to stay out of the water. The warning threatened to scuttle Saturday’s Ironman triathlon.

Friday afternoon, officials announced earlier that the advisory would be lifted by 11 p.m.

“The advisory is being lifted… because the elapsed time since the discharge stopped would have allowed it to dissipate,” officials said.

“Our team worked diligently with local environmental and health departments to monitor and thoroughly test the water. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection tested the water following the break and the reports show the water is safe for swimming,” Ironman organizers said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be able to offer athletes the full 140.6-mile course for the inaugural Aquadraat Sports IRONMAN U.S. Championship and look forward to welcoming each participant across our finish line!”

As many as 2,500 athletes set to compete have been training for months, or even years in some cases, for the Ironman.

EXTRA: See How The Ironman Will Impact Traffic

The competition — as planned — starts with a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson followed by a 112-mile bike ride on the Palisades Parkway in Bergen and Rockland Counties and then ends with a 26.2-mile marathon beginning in New Jersey and finishing in Riverside Park in Manhattan — all in a single day.

The rupture of a 40-year-old pipe required a partial system shut down, meaning raw sewage wasn’t able to make it to the treatment plant in Yonkers and instead was gushing into the Hudson.

The river turned out to be surprisingly resilient.

“Because of the size and the volume (of the river) — combined with the tides — it does a good job of dispersing it,” Clifford Schneider of the Beczak Environmental Education Center said.

The health advisory covered from Croton down to Yonkers on both banks.

For more information about the Ironman competition, visit ironmanuschampionship.com.

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