2015 August 08

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Delmar, New York
Elm Avenue Town Park
Henry Hudson Park
Mason Lake
Rim Rock

August 2015
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

People often forget how important recreational boating was to passage of the Pure Waters Act in 1965 and the federal Clean Water Act in 1970. In the early 1960s recreational power boats became popular thanks to advances in engineering and mass production, along with a strong economy that put power boats in the range of affordability for middle class families. The millions of new boaters were disgusted to find the water they were boating in appeared dirty, smelled bad, and the fish they caught tasted oily and like petrochemicals.

New York State like many other states and federal government had passed laws trying to clean up the rivers. In the 1920s, NY banned untreated discharges in the Hudson River with a goal of zero untreated discharges by 1939. The Great Depression and enormous cost of piping and  building sewage plants lead to this goal to be unattainable. The second World War lead the Conservation Department to largely set aside this effort. That said, the zero discharge law forced municipalities to segregate out storm water from sewage for developments built after mid 1930s, and to treat sewage from these new developments. But few new  developments were built in the 1930s and 1940s. Most developments were older, especially in the cities.

The 1950s came and went. New developments had their sewage treated but not the old cities, mainly because of enormous cost to treat sewage especially with combined sewers. The fifties weren’t kind to cities, with suburban development drying up their taxes. They could hardly afford a major public works projects, especially at the scale of millions.

Many Americans would have agreed with the conclusion that an important part of urban rivers were sewage and waste disposal in the 1950s and early 1960s. Rivers typically weren’t that polluted after you got a dozen or so miles away from urban areas, as sewage got diluted and attacked by bacteria.

But everything changed in the 1960s with recreational boaters. It would take decades to fully fix the problem – and it’s still bad in urban areas after heavy rains but it has gotten a lot better, especially in the past twenty years.

Good afternoon. It’s 79 degrees this afternoon and sunny. Not a drop of humidity this afternoon, with a dewpoint of around 56 degrees.

I didn’t post an update yesterday, because when I got home from work yesterday, I was tired from a long weekend at work, and was asleep by no later then 6:30 PM and didn’t get up until around 7 AM. Sometimes a good night of sleep is good.

Finally started to clean up my apartment and get stuff put away from last week camping. Things didn’t get fully packed up last weekend, and I was just tired after a long week of work, fiddling with my cellphone to get it working again. I finally ordered a new SD card, and will get that in the phone later, and move over my music collection. 64 GB should give me a lot more place to store music, podcasts, and photos. The camping stuff has been cleaned with bleach and the coolers, water jugs, boxes, and other equipment is in the attic, all ready for next Thursday when I take it out to pack for camping again — assuming next weekend turns out to be recent.

I picked up oil and filter, and made sure everything was right for doing the oil change. I got the oil drained out of the truck, and then I couldn’t get the damn filter off the truck. I had a cap wrench that worked perfectly last time, but because last time I installed an oil filter that had a asphalt coated end — Purcolator brand — my cap wrench wouldn’t fit. Dad came over with his belt-style filter wrench, and between us both banging it, we got it off. I don’t know how it got so tight on. I only hand tighten the filter. I never use a wrench on it, as you don’t want to over-crimp the filter ring. That sucked. And yes, I spilled some oil on the asphalt driveway, but it’s asphalt and most of soaked up okay with paper towels. But i got a purty picture.

Decided to go down to the park to check on the Internets. I love the wi-fi at the park. It’s much nicer to sit out in the park, on the hill by the pool complex and check the web, compared to going to the library. I’ve never used the Bethlehem Pool because it’s like $5 but maybe some hot day when I’m in town, I’ll have to try it out.

Heading down fishing in a little while at the Hudson River. I will probably pick up some hot dogs and fry them up on camp stove. I could I guess use the barbeque grill, but I don’t feel like bothering with the charcoal. Next weekend if I’m out camping, I will do some grilling for sure. Might go camping somewhere around Wells and visit the Town Beach or go camping out at Burnt-Rossman and go Mine Kill State Park. But who knows if the weather will be this nice next weekend.