THE BRONX - A new plan has been unveiled to remove excess bacteria from the Bronx River.

Members of the Bronx River Alliance say that when heavy rainfall occurs, the rainwater plus sewage water gets discharged right into the river through a pipe intended to collect the dirty water.

They say the mixture contributes to the amount of bacteria in the freshwater river.

One way to help remove the bacteria would be a method of green infrastructure called bioswales, the group says. Natural barriers would be built to act as a sponge, soaking up excess water and ideally prevent flooding.

The Bronx River Alliance wants to grow the bioswales along the river from 182nd Street to its mouth in Soundview, where the pipes for the combined sewage overflow reside.

The group says it hopes to hand in its plan to the Department of Environmental Conservation for approval by the end of this year.