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PODCAST: Behind the Scenes at Greenpoint's Wastewater Treatment Plant

By  Gwynne Hogan and Ben Fractenberg | July 14, 2016 5:19pm | Updated on July 15, 2016 9:32am

 Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest such facility in the city.
Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
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GREENPOINT — Each episode of This is New York brings you a conversation with a DNAinfo reporter, followed by a story central to their beat.

This week we head to north Brooklyn where former reporter Serena Dai introduces us to some of the most important stories she followed.

Then we go to the Newtown Creek's Wastewater Treatment Plant. It's the biggest of its kind in the city, a sprawling complex in industrial Greenpoint run by the city's Department of Environmental Preservation [DEP].

The DEP was recently sued by a group of its former employees who claimed officials in the department were lying about water quality reports and then firing whistle blowers. 

Clean water advocates with the Newtown Creek Alliance say that raw sewage gets released into the creek sometimes when it rains as little as a tenth of an inch. They captured a particularly grotesque example of sewage outflow into the creek on video in May.

The manager of the plant, Zainool Ali, certainly has his work cut out for him. But his enthusiasm for treating New York City's waste is strangely infectious.

He gives us the lay of the land and lets us in on some secrets about sewage that you may never have considered when you flushed.

Plus, we've got some sweet 360 degree footage from out trip to the plant on our Facebook page.