2/16/2008

This is the open sewer where Toll Brothers want to build their HUGE condo complex.

As I mentioned in the last post I wrote about the how the Gowanus Canal floods over when it rains and also that raw sewage is mixed into that flood water. The technical term for that is C.S.O or Combined Sewage Outflow. Here is a photo of the canal area at high tide. The land in the background with the silo is part of the site where Toll Brothers want to build their huge condominium complex.. They plan on ignoring the flooding by building on a man made hill. Now, can you imagine a hill there with a 12-story luxury condo sitting on top? Is it me or is this a band aid solution completely ignorant of the terrain and the forces of nature? The ground gets soft down there by the banks of the canal, probrably because it's full of toxins and chemicals.This is a photo of Combined Sewage Outflow in action. When it rains raw sewage from the toilets in our homes flow into the canal through tunnels into the canal. I received these photos and commentary from a F.R.O.G.G member (Friends and Residents of the Greater Gowanus), a group that has been a watchdog on Gowanus Environmental Issues.

The following words from F.R.O.G.G will fill you in on the technical details of the issue and how the city is ignoring, oops I mean handling it.

The rehabilitated and improved Flushing Tunnel is expected to flush out this communal toilet with greater force, hopefully moving the crap out at a faster pace, but it will still need to be moved through this community. None of this will be tested until after the work has been completed. The idea of building housing along such a waterway is perverted, perverted!Note the brown current of discharge from the CSO which the city has named OH-005. The city is in denial over the fact that this CSO actually spews anything into the canal. The DEP data shows that OH-005 discharges into the canal but 5 times a year. Those who regularly cross this bridge have observed otherwise--sewage discharges here are more frequent than 5 times a month. Because this CSO serves the Owl's Head treatment plant; the city is clueless as what to do about the sewage overflow along the Owl's Head lines so they are pretending it's not happening.

The Gowanus Canal water quality improvement plans address the CSO flow at the head of the canal. The Gowanus Canal water quality plans are all about raising the dissolved oxygen levels in the water in order to meet the lowest level of water quality standard. While they hope pathogen levels will be at a level that will allow them to up grade the water quality classification to CLASS I, the DEP does not know that pathogen levels will be of a level that would be healthy for those living so close to this water.

There is real question about the control of pathogen levels in this water, even after substantial renovation of the Flushing Tunnel takes place.

In the Gowanus Water body/Watershed Plan (currently under Public Comment Period) section 9.2.4 Future Considerations Synopsis states:
"Although this Water body/Watershed Facility Plan is expected to result in significant improvements to the water quality in Gowanus Canal, it is not expected to completely attain all applicable water quality criteria. .....If either current or potential future “fishable/swimmable” water quality criteria are demonstrated to be unrealistic after a period of monitoring, NYCDEP would request reclassification of Gowanus Canal based on a Use Attainability Analysis (UAA). Until the recommended UAAs and required regulatory processes are completed, the current NYSDEC classification of Gowanus Canal (Class SD) should be temporarily retained. "


And they want people to live on top of this? Shame on our politicians for even considering this rezoning.

To find out even more about what is going on around the Gowanus (including Public Place) read this excellent article by Tom Angotti in the Gotham Gazette.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Part of Toll Bros plan is to have 260 underground parking spaces. Heh, not only is this land polluted, on a polluted waterway, but it is also WETLANDS!
Whole Foods also wants to build underground. Anybody take a look at construction sites along the Gowanus when they dig? (as in the Scarano behemoth on Bond and President) Water water everywhere. I believe the water table is high. Maybe Toll Brothers is focusing on the Gowanus because real estate everywhere is sinking - only the NY area seems to be keeping some value. But this project will be sinking, too! and STINKING!

Anonymous said...

That's right. If you look at the old maps of this area in the library, you will see very clearly that it is marked as a swamp. Water runoff from the descending hills of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens plus underground springs and New York Bay generously supply water to the man made Gowanus Canal. During construction of 340 Bond St the foundation/basement was under water all the time. Maybe its a "pool" now.

There is so much heavy metals (lead cadmium, mercury...) it can be mined. Nice place to live Mr Bloomberg.

Sally from South Brooklyn said...

This just in from my mother-- who grew up on Carroll between Nevins & 3rd and was there for the Gallo-Profaci war in '72-- in Florida. FIBers care to learn more about the new "neighbors"?

***

The Lake Arrowhead Condominium Association is suing luxury home developer Toll Brothers Inc., alleging that the developer violated local, state and national building codes by building condos that have numerous cracks and many other defects.

The lawsuit filed this month in Collier Circuit Court comes two months after the same lawyer, William Stockman of Fort Myers, filed lawsuits for three condominium associations at Lake Barrington Condominiums that cite similar defects. This lawsuit involves condominiums 1A through 1D.

Stockman declined comment and Allison Nugent, Toll Brothers’ Florida marketing manager, said the company’s policy is not to comment on pending litigation.

Horsham, Pa.-based Toll Brothers, which has an office in Bonita Springs, is a luxury home builder with projects in 21 states.

Lake Arrowhead Condominiums, a gated community in East Naples, features 128 two-story condos in the Naples Lakes Country Club development. Real estate listings show the condos are selling in the mid-$300,000 to the mid-$500,000 range.

A similar lawsuit was filed in April in Orange County in Central Florida and other complaints accusing Toll Brothers of shoddy construction and violating building codes have been filed in Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut and other states.


***

Note to Rich Calder of the New York Post, who is usually better:

Check your sources and don't print press releases as news; David Von Spreckelsen couldn't tell the truth if it was dumped at him like a bucket of Gowanus shit water.

As for the scumbags at Whole Food, who have lied repeatedly and gotten idiots to echo those lies... What's happening there again? Glad to know the shitheels who echo those lies are too moronic to have even 1/10th of a clue about all of the history around there that's likely being lost too; it's much more important to "save" the motherfucking advertising sign for a union busting sugar company. (On sale at the union unfriendly Whole Foods? We'll see.)

Sally Maria Alfonso-Svevo
South Brooklyn

Lisanne McT said...

Wow. Thanks for that news Sally. Just why oh why are suburban developers building in NYC? Toll Brothers seems to be the Walmart of luxury condos construction. They are literally a chain.

and anon- thanks for bring up the parking garage. That Scarano building has been in construction mode for OVER 2 years, i guess it's tough to use power tools when your building is flooded.

so do you think the parking garage is going to be built into the man made hill that they want to put the condos on? Hope they use better materials than what they are using in the burbs!

That is IF this thing gets built!

Anonymous said...

What about a hurricane barrier for our brooklyn version of the Grand Canal (or a sewer drain) depending on the rainfall? There is one protecting Providence called the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, but I haven't heard of there being too many others on the east coast.

Anonymous said...

Does someone actually live in that silo in the background?