Horrifying new interactive map lays out New York’s shittiest waterways

gowanus canal
For once, the answer isn’t the Gowanus. via Flickr user prizepony

Here’s an uncomfortable thing to think about, especially if you’re eating lunch right now: New York’s waterways are full of shit. In a very literal sense, poop just streaming along without a care in the world like the salmon of the Miramichi River. Which New York waterway is the MOST full of shit though? Well, in case you were curious, IQuantNY’s Ben Wellington has determined the answer. It’s in Brooklyn, but it’s not the Gowanus.

Wellington was specifically studying the city’s numbers on how much sewage overflow finds its way into waterways, sewage that brings fecal coliform with it. According to Wellington, if the amount of fecal coliform in a waterway is more than 1000 parts per 100ml, you’re not allowed to swim in the waterway. So, based on how many times a waterway was closed to swimming, due to doody bacteria, Wellington was able to make a top 10 list, as well as the following map in which the larger the red circle, the more often the water was deemed unsafe to humans:

via IQauntNY

Tops in New York was the Coney Island Creek and Cropsey Avenue, which was deemed unsafe 94% of the time dating back to the measurements from 2008, followed by the head of the Bergen Basin (at JFK) and then Bronx River at 231st Street. A Gowanus spot didn’t show up until 8th place, good job Gowanus!

As Wellington pointed out, it’s mostly creeks and canals that were full of shit, so just in case you were ever thinking of swimming in one of New York’s creeks, don’t do it. Unless you have really good health insurance, and even then, you probably shouldn’t do it. Look, the dots are so small for the beaches, just go swim there.

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