Governments' Lighter Side

Valentine's Day surprise (with related video)

How about a tour of a sewage plant?

Forget the roses and chocolate, here's the perfect Valentine's Day gift – a tour of a sewage plant. Back by popular demand, for the second year in a row officials in New York City are offering a romantic tour of a sewage plant for lovers of urban infrastructure, according to The Associated Press (AP).

Newtown Creek's giant egg-shaped digestersThe tour, complete with commentary, comes courtesy of the city's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Guests are guided through the 53-acre Newtown Creek Wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

The plant hosts public tours every month, but last year added a Valentine's Day tour. It was a hit – more than 200 people signed up.

This year, due to "overwhelming demand" DEP says, the department has added a third tour on Thursday. The first two scheduled tours, at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., filled up. Now a third tour is scheduled at 11 a.m.

The tour's highlights include Newtown Creek's giant egg-shaped digesters which, much like a human stomach, break down noxious waste into harmless sludge and gas. From atop the mammoth eggs, tour guests also get a grand view of the Manhattan skyline.

But visitors are warned that the faux egg structures sometimes mimic their real-life counterparts, emitting a foul odor. For some lovers, apparently, it's the perfect aroma for romance.

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