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Sewage games! Manhattan leads Bay Ridge, Coney Island in wastewater contest

The Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

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Pipe down: Mohammad Rhiman of the Jamaica wastewater treatment plant’s “Sludge Hustlers” shows how to cut a leaking pipe during the city’s 25th Annual Operations Challenge at the Owl’s Head sewage plant on Tuesday.
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Heavy metal: North River Avengers member Joe Miraglia fixes some sewage plant machinery in record time — helping earn his team a first place finish during the first round of competition.
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Strap in: “Coney Island Warriors” member Dan Luffredo harnesses his strength for the sewage games.
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Men at work: The home team, Owl’s Head “Sludge Fellas” members Moe Minickere, James Di Tomasso, Dennis Marotto repair submersible sewage equipment for their task.
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Owl eyed: “Sludge Fellas” members Moe Minickere, James Di Tomasso, Dennis Marotto could not reap their homefield advantage at Owl’s Head — and finished the day in fourth place.

It’s the wide world of wastewater sports!

Five teams of city sewage workers competed against each other in feats of skill and strength during the 25th Annual Operations Challenge at the Owl’s Head wastewater plant on Tuesday to earn bragging rights over their brainy and brawny brethren.

Department of Environmental Protection workers fixed leaky pipes, tested wastewater for pollution, repaired heavy machinery, and showed off how they would rescue team members from confined spaces during the first day of the two-day competition at the Bay Ridge plant.

But Brooklyn’s teams endured a frustrating morning.

Owl’s Head’s “Sludge Fellas, the home team and winner of last year’s sewage games, finished the day in fourth place, edged out by the Coney Island “Warriors” and the Jamaica “Sludge Hustlers,” who came in third and second, respectively.

The day belonged to the North River “Harlem Pump Trotters,” who emerged in the lead and are in a good position to sweep the games with only the sewage trivia portion remaining on May 1.

It could be a redemptive victory for the Harlem-based sewage workers, whose plant caught fire and flooded millions of gallons of raw sewage into the city’s waterways last July, forcing the closure of several beaches.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.
Updated 5:32 pm, July 9, 2018
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