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Bloomberg Touts Improvements At Gowanus Canal; Residents Complain Of Stench

Angry Resident: 'You See, You Smell. Am I Wrong?'
Mayor Bloomberg announces water quality upgrade project at the Gowanus Canal pumping station to be completed by end of 2013. May 13, 2013. (credit: Spencer T Tucker/Mayor's Office)

Mayor Bloomberg announces water quality upgrade project at the Gowanus Canal pumping station to be completed by end of 2013. May 13, 2013. (credit: Spencer T Tucker/Mayor’s Office)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Despite major flooding from Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said upgrades to the waste water pumping station at the Gowanus Canal will be done by year’s end.

The mayor joined city officials to tout part of his administration’s $20 billion investment into the city’s water system.

Even as the smell from the Gowanus Canal wafted over the work area, Bloomberg said plans to improve its quality and the quality of city drinking water are on track, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported Monday.

“Part of that investment, more than $190 million, has been here at the Gowanus Canal. We are doing a major upgrade of the waste water pumping station located here at the head of the canal, as well as other improvements,” Bloomberg said.

“It will have the capacity to pump 30 million gallons of waste water a day to the Red Hook waste water treatment plant. That’s an increase of more than 10 million gallons over its previous capacity,” New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland told reporters, including WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.

The upgrades are expected to alleviate the flooding that resident Linda Mariano said makes Gowanus unlivable.

“You see, you smell. Am I wrong? Do you see and smell what I see and hear and smell?” she said.

The canal flooded just last week during heavy rains, but Mariano said she will not leave.

“My children are here. My grandchildren are here. I ask my husband every day to move, I do,” she said. “But we can’t.”

She and other residents said the planned improvements do not go far enough in the growing community.

“They want to build all these luxury residences along the canal and, quite frankly, they don’t want them looking out their window and seeing poop go by,” another resident told Diamond.

Each year, more than 400 million gallons of raw sewage leaks into the Gowanus Canal.

Bloomberg’s aim is to make the canal clean enough for boating.

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