Group Of LES Residents Say Their Building Smells Like Sewage
Residents of a housing authority building on the Lower East Side are experiencing a very unhappy case of deja vu: a smelly problem that they want a solution to as soon as possible. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
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Walk into the lobby of one of the buildings in the Baruch Houses, and the smell hits you right away.
"Raw sewage," said one person. "Really, it's basically sewage."
"It's bad because I'm pregnant, and I don't need to be smelling that," said another.
That stench extends from the lobby, up into the stairwells and even onto higher floors.
Residents said it's been like that for months. It's coming from a broken waste line underneath the building.
"That's sewage water from the people that are using the toilet," said resident Ivan DeJesus. "It comes down the pipes. Instead of going to where it's supposed to go, it comes down a cracked pipe and lands inside there. They come with a truck, they drain all the water out, and within two weeks, it's back again."
This isn’t the first time residents here are dealing with sewage problems that they want the city’s housing authority to fix. Back in 2010, NY1 showed how human waste was spilling out of a pipe, right in front of the same lobby that once again smells like sewage.
"We pay our rent," said resident Sam Favors. "We got some hard-working people that live in this building, and we love our neighborhood. But this, it's just going to trash, this building. It's ridiculous."
The residents said the smell is at its absolute worst in the lobby during the evening hours.
"Everybody's flushing their toilet, so then you've got this buildup," Favors said. "They say they're going to fix it, but nothing is being done about it. You literally have to cover your face to walk in there, just to open up your mailbox. It's nauseating, it's disgusting, and we're sick and tired of it."
Sewage isn't the only problem. Residents said that rats are also running rampant. NY1 found a dead rat just inside the building's basement.
New York City Housing Authority officials said a rodent task force is working to solve the rat problem. As for the broken waste line, after NY1 asked about it, they said that staff members have been cleaning it out every week and will clean it out again. They also said they'll replace the entire line by Monday.
People who live there are asking: what's taking so long?