Monday, January 20, 2014

Undocumented Roosevelt Island Water Main Cut During Cornell NYC Tech Construction - Southtown Riverwalk Apartments Getting Brown Water In Sinks, Toilets And Showers

Residents of Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Buidings in Southtown experienced problems with brown water coming from their sinks, toilets and showers today. From the Roosevelt Island twitterverse

Residents from other Riverwalk buildings added this afternoon:
It's happening in 405. I was told it was a water main break.
i am having the same problem in 465
yes in 425, eeeew.
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato:
Residents of Southtown Riverwalk buildings are reporting having brownish water coming from their sinks, toilets and showers this afternoon

Some are being told it is caused by a water main break at building 7 construction site.

Does RIOC have any information on this matter?
RIOC Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus reported that an undocumented water main pipe was cut on the northwest side of the former Goldwater Hospital site

Roosevelt Island Water Main Break On Site of Cornell NYC Tech Construciton

during construction drilling for the new Cornell NYC Tech campus.

Worker Cleaning Up After Water Main Break

Public Safety Director McManus advises residents in Riverwalk buildings not to drink the tap water or take showers until more information is available.

NYC Department of Environmental Protection was on the scene of the water main break.

Unknown Roosevelt Island cables, pipes and other underground material beneath Goldwater Hospital may be a continual problem during Cornell NYC Tech construction.

UPDATE 7:04 PM - RIOC sent out the following advisory at 7:02 PM:
Earlier this afternoon, a Water Main Break occurred at the former Goldwater Hospital site during construction drilling for the new Cornell Tech Campus. Residents of Southtown Riverwalk buildings have reported "brownish" water coming from their sinks, toilets and showers. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), who is overseeing the repair to the water main, advises residents not to drink or shower in the water until the water main is repaired and the water returns to its normal color.
UPDATE 1/21 at 8:30 AM - RIOC President Charlene Indelicato reports no further information from DEP regarding safety of water though she hopes to get an answer this morning.

UPDATE 9:35 AM - RIOC President Indelicato reports being told by DEP that the  Roosevelt Island water from Rivercross building south, including Riverwalk Buildings is unsafe for drinking and bathing until further notice.

UPDATE 9:50 AM - Related Management, the building managers for Riverwalk buildings sent the following notice to its residents today:
Date: January 21, 2014 Re: Contaminated Water Situation Please be advised that there is a contaminated water situation currently on the island and residents are experiencing brown water. PLEASE DO NOT BATH OR USE THE DOMESTIC WATER UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. The Department of Environmental Protection is on the Island performing tests and has not determined if the water is safe for consumption yet. The contamination occurred as a result of construction at the Goldwater Hospital and the pipe has already been fixed but we are still awaiting the water test results. As soon as we have more information we will share it with you. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
UPDATE 10:42 - According to RIOC:
Please be advised that due to a Water Main Break at the former Goldwater Hospital site on January 20th 2014, residents of Southtown Riverwalk and the Rivercross buildings should refrain from drinking or bathing in the water from their sinks, tubs, or showers until further notice. Residents should also refrain from drinking or bathing in water at the Sportspark facility and all other buildings south of the Rivercross complex. The Department of Environmental Protection is working to correct the problem. For further information you may contact the DEP directly at (718) 595-4200/ 4201.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 2:55 PM - NYC DEP Press Spokesperson confirms that Roosevelt Island water is safe for drinking and bathing. Also advises if water is discolored to let it run for a few minutes until it becomes clear.

RIOC adds:
Please be advised that residents in the Rivercross complex and all buildings south of Rivercross may bathe in and drink the water from their taps. If the water appears dirty, be advised that this is not a health issue, but taps may be run until the lines are cleared. Residents are advised to call 311 with any inquiries.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Rivercross management sent the following memo to its residents:
The NYC Department of Environmental Protection has reported that the water serving Rivercross and the other water main break effected buildings on Roosevelt Island, is safe to use. If you see any discoloration in the water, let it run until clear. This is also the reason why the laundry rooms were shut; as the drop in pressure caused by the break, caused particulate matter to clog the machine filters and shut them down. They have all been cleared since and both laundry rooms are functioning normally.
and Related Management sent this memo to Riverwalk resident:
Please be advised the water is safe to consume and use. The Department of Environmental Protection has confirmed their findings moments ago and residents can resume using the water from the building’s water supply.

We apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.


Ratso123 said...

There are ways to electronically sweep an area to locate pipes and cables under the ground before digging. I would suggest that all digging stop until a professional company that does this type of work is hired as a consultant.

bakgwailo said...

Doesn't NY have something like Dig Safe ( ?

rilander said...

This was the most poorly handled by RIOC incident I've ever encountered on Roosevelt Island. The break occurred during the day on Monday but RIOC didn't send out an advisory until 7:02PM. It said that Southtown/Riverwalk was affected, but not until 10:42AM the NEXT DAY did they add that Rivercross was also affected! The handling of the communication about this possible health danger was outrageous, indefensible and irresponsible! SHAME ON RIOC!

Ratso123 said...

I agree with you. It is unbelievable that there was no communication about the possible dangers of polluted water relayed to the buildings involved (as far as I've been told). RIOC should have communicated the problem to each building so the staff of those buildings could have answered the tenants questions. Also, from what I know, the location of underground cables, pipes etc. is done free of charge to construction companies I think that it may be paid for by a fund that utilities pay into.

rilander said...

The issue isn't about whether the construction company had the right drawings, but how RIOC did not communicate in a timely manner or communicate completely. Again, today residents in Southtown experienced brown water, only to be told after they made a stink and complained, that they were finally told that "Cornell is testing the water". There was no notification that was being done...and I do not believe that RIOC didn;t know. Even if that's the case they should have contacted Cornell once they found out and halt all construction until there is tacit reassurance that communication will occur.
In addition, RIRA as well as various residents must put pressure on RIOC, and I really think that we should all start by phoning our state assemblymen and state senator to put a stop to this crap...It is simply dangerous and unacceptable. Maybe Cuomo should be reminded that we are an activist voting community...he's up for re-election.
Yes, I'm mad as hell that so many people's health is put at risk and these bozos don't give a damn!

JordanaL said...

Cornell is responsible for the safety of the water during the ongoing and lengthy construction of its complex. Dirty water, whether dangerous or not, is unacceptable. Related management should provide water filtration systems (eg. Brita) to all residents and recover from Cornell. Additionally, Cornell should install water purification systems in all affected buildings at their own cost to protect residents from these reoccurring incidents. I ran my water for 20 minutes yesterday although I did not get a notice to do so from anyone. Still, this morning, my water was a murky brown again. Residents should not have to check water each morning before they brush their teeth.
Brita filters are easily obtained and installed and this should already have been done. Clean water is not a luxury item. Cornell must rectify its mistake. Building management must do a better job advising residents of such problems.

westviewgirl said...

Maybe Cornell does not want problems to be broadcasted! I have been worried about that ground being contaminated all along! We should all call NY1 right away and get them out here and also all the tv stations...the newspapers! Everyone start calling now!

westviewgirl said...

another had the suggestion that Cornell should provide all residents with a Brita water filtration unit with filters for our sinks for the next 2 years or the duration. Least they could do...this will be happening again...and lord only knows what is in that soil down there! Lets see, small pox hospital, decades of sick and diseased patients at the hospital and who knows how many drugs were flushed down the toilets or trashed down there. I am concerned, and everyone should be in my opinion. Maybe I am worried too much, but seems I read they needed to do a toxis cleanup last year of those grounds...was that the case? Did anyone else remember reading that!