*SEWERAMA! * Proteus Gowanus on Sunday

Sewage has been a topic discussed on F.I.B on many a blog post but Proteus Gowanus has taken it 1 million steps furthur by devoting several hours to the topic starting at 4pm on Sunday.

From their press release:


"A multimedia presentation with all the information you can stomach about our sewers
and how they affect the Gowanus Canal.

The first in a series of events sponsored by
The Hall of the Gowanus
The only exhibition space in NYC dedicated to the Gowanus Canal
A Project of Proteus Gowanus

One of the defining features of modern life is that we can dispose of waste with the push of a button or the crank of a lever and never think twice about the consequences. But still there lurks the nagging question: Are we really rid of it all?

If you live in Prospect Heights, Boerum Hill, Park Slope, or Gowanus and it’s a rainy day, chances are that what you flush down the toilet will end up in the Gowanus Canal. That’s because New York City channels street runoff and household sewage into a Combined Sewer System which responds to excess flow (ie from heavy rains) by discharging it into our waterways.

Will the recent designation of the Gowanus as a Superfund Site solve this problem? The answer is decidedly murky. But that does not mean that solutions are not available. Find out what New York City’s Combined Sewer System means to you and whether there is any hope for the Gowanus Canal, Superfund or no.


Novelist Elizabeth Gaffney will read from the chapter “Down the Manhole” in her novel of 19th C New York, Metropolis.

Environmental Planner Kate Zidar and teaching artist Valeria Mogilevich will explain how the Combined Sewer System works by using the Center for Urban Pedagogy’s Sewer In a Suitcase.

Eric Rothstein, Managing Partner of eDesign Dynamics, will describe sustainable methods for reducing combined sewer overflow. These low-impact development methods will include technologies for infiltrating, detaining, and re-using stormwater before it reaches the combined sewer system.

Susannah C. Drake, principal of Dlandstudio, LLC, will present the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park plan, a multifunctional public open space project that slows, absorbs and filters surface water runoff with the goal of remediating contaminated water.

In addition, on display in the Hall of the Gowanus will be The Water Underground, a video by City-As-School high school students in conjunction the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), and other art, artifacts and books relating to the Gowanus."

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