DEP Comes Through On Promise
New Water Mains For Two Blocks
By John C. McLoughlin
Residents of the 200 block of Beach 138 street and the 400 block of Beach 127 street received new water mains this week after eight years of living with frozen pipes during the winter months.
The Department of Environmental Protection promised residents of both blocks new water mains after it was discovered that construction crews in 1992 had failed to reconnect water mains at the proper depth to prevent freezing. In 1992, while new storm sewers were being placed on several blocks in Belle Harbor, construction crews needed to disconnect water mains. Normal depth for water main pipes are 36 to 48 inches below street level, but the pipes on Beach 127 and Beach 138 streets were reconnected at approximately 9 to 16 inches below street level.
This problem left many residents of both blocks without water during cold weather conditions.
On February 5, 2000, DEP responded to the cries of many residents with an emergency crew. DEP exposed the pipes and defrosted the water mains using a blowtorch. After this event, a DEP spokesperson told The Wave that new water mains would be installed, but it was expected the project would take place six or so months later.
Residents were surprised and elated to see crews placing new water mains at the proper depths by mid-May.
"Government finally worked fast for us," said Andy McGee, a resident of Beach 138 street. "They should be applauded."