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On an early Tuesday morning, I ventured off to Greenpoint, Brooklyn to tour NYC’s largest and newest plant, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.   One day of each month, they host a tour of their famous award-winning Digester Eggs.   Amongst a group of 30 — 40 people, I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing at all the different giant sludge processing machines, pipes, and surge towers.   Newtown Creek is 1 of the 14 treatment plants in NYC and manages the wastewater from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.  All the processes performed here also occur in nature–here it’s just industrialized.

The stainless steel digester eggs can process about 1.5 million gallons of sludge a day.   A good portion of the ‘digested sludge’ is converted to reusable energy and gas and the remainder is typically shipped off to landfills.  The remainder can also turn into fertilizer with additional processing and tests but unfortunately, due to budget cuts and less of a demand, that is less likely to happen today.


On the walkway above the Digester Eggs





Gravity-based machine that helps separate layers of waste and sludge

View from Nature’s Creek Nature Walk

Every green-colored building is an access point to stairways or elevators. They are designed to help employees easily locate exits.

Information on how to schedule your visit of the Digester Eggs is available on the NYC.gov website. Also check out the Untapped Cities recap of the  Poison Cauldron of Newtown Creek  tour with Atlas Obscura.

1 Comment

  1. That’s a pretty bold project and is why the waters around NYC don’t smell the way they did a few short decades ago.

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