Reader Mail: Polluting the Hudson

411 reader Jason writes in about some blatant polluting going on right on the sidewalk.

“Not sure how many people know but what goes down Hoboken’s storm drains goes directly into the Hudson. That’s why when we have storms on a high tide the streets flood, the water has no where to go because the system is backed up by the tide. To my dismay I noticed someone dumping a ½ gallon of paint straight into the system on Newark between Bloomfield and Garden. They were cleaning their paint tray, brush, and roller. Its time for us to pay more attention!!”


I can understand just dumping raw paint down the drain, but how are you supposed to clean your paint rollers? I always rinsed them in the sink too.


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19 Comments on "Reader Mail: Polluting the Hudson"

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Hoboken411, this thread should have a link to the FLOOD threads in the “(Somewhat) Related Entries:” section.

It hasn’t been mentioned yet, but the stuff people dump down into the storm drains (curb openings) actually diminish and potentially block the flow of water run off from rain storms into the river, as well as to the treatment plants. Dumping liquids which solidify (latex & oil paints, foams, chemical reactants, etc) even makes it worse – backing up water and flooding the city.

Anyone who thinks it’s no big deal to dump something because it will be dilluted need to remember this – especially the next time they wade through chocolate pudding.


Dumping everything from paint to trash into storm drains is a time-honored tradition in this town. Must be some kind of collective ancestral memory from the old world or something.

That and just dropping trash in the street. I remember one fall day in the mid-90s when some otherwise respectable older woman reached into her coat pocket right in front of me and pulled out a handful of wrappers, tissues, and other stuff which she proceeded to drop onto Park Ave by the curb.

I was so flabbergasted that all I could think to say was “Ah – littering. Good for you.” She gave me a scowl. It never occurred to her that doing do was wrong.


Yes, that’s how most older cities that were developed before sewage treatment plans were designed work.