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Just How Polluted is the Wallkill River?

The Wallkill River runs all the way into New Jersey and despite its beauty, this river is in pretty bad condition. Why is it so polluted?

The river was so bad last summer that residents in Ulster County were being warned to stay out of it and keep their pets out of it too. Toxic Algae blooms were making it very dangerous to humans. Why is the Wallkill so polluted?

According to a report by Riverkeeper, 87 percent of water samples taken from the Wallkill showed that it is unsafe to swim in. That number rises to 97 percent after it rains. This is the main reason for contamination. Runoff from sewers, fertilizers and farm animal waste. When it rains, it washes into the Wallkill River.

Spectrum News reports that Dan Shapely from Riverkeeper says that there needs to be a formal study to determine solutions for the pollution problem. Big money also has to be spent to improve septic systems along the river.

to put money into our sewers so that we have fewer leaks, have fewer overflows and really can protect water quality in places like the Wallkill.

The Wallkill River is a recreational gem in the Mid Hudson region. Boating, fishing and even swimming are favorite uses during the warm weather. The river needs to be cleaned up for those reasons and the fact that it runs into the Hudson. Riverkeeper’s report says there are things that we can do to help.

You can organize stream walks, test water flowing from outfalls, contact those responsible for our infrastructure, and spread the word. Reach out to your local municipality, or work with your CAC/ECC or watershed group.


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