2001-03-17 / Front Page

Sewage Saga Solved!

Sewage Saga Solved!

By John C. McLoughlin

For almost two months residents of Beach 25 Street between Deerfield and Camp roads, in Far Rockaway, have lived with raw sewage rising into the basements of their homes and pouring out into the street. After weeks of denying responsibility for the problem, the City of New York finally admitted that it was their sewer line causing the backup.

The Wave’s February 24, 2001 edition exposed the sewage saga, which left many residents with flooded basements and an overwhelming stench. Some residents were running rubber hoses from their homes to the street in order to reduce the sewage inside their dwellings.

Barbara Smith, president of the Deerfield Area Civic Association and a homeowner enduring the sewage situation, contacted several elected officials and Community Board 14 District Manager Jon Gaska. At the time, Smith said, "We’re taxpayers...we shouldn’t have to live like this."

Smith’s concern did not fall on deaf ears. Gaska had the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) visit the site on several occasions in hopes of locating the source of the problem. Last week the DEP informed Smith and Gaska that a faulty pipe causing the sewage backup belonged to the city.

"There was a problem with part of the city line," Gaska said. "There was a break."

Although Gaska was happy to see the situation resolved, he said it was only "temporary" relief for the neighborhood.

"All the homeowners are going to have to hook up to the city line on Beach 25 Street," Gaska said, referring to the present set-up where the houses on the block feed into a single private line that then enters into the city sewers. "It’s better if they do it now."

As for Smith, and her neighbors Regina Forston and Mrs. Wright, they couldn’t be happier with this ending.

"We thank Jonathan so much," Smith said. "He came through for us."


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