Apartments dumped 200,000 gallons of sewage per day into Coney Island Creek

Poop chute: The slurry entered the creek through this storm drain near Shell Road and Shore Parkway.
Brooklyn Daily
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Talk about being up s--- creek.

Sixteen buildings in Gravesend’s Beach Haven Apartments have been dumping roughly 200,000 gallons of raw sewage per day into Coney Island Creek — possibly for years — regulators discovered earlier this month. The stream passes two parks and several beaches on its way to the harbor, borough students routinely wade into its fetid waters for city-run educational programs, and some even use the creek for religious rites, which makes the revelation particularly reviling, one environmental advocate said.

“The potential damage to the community itself is appalling,” said Coney Island activist Pamela Pettyjohn. “All summer people go swimming, fishing, boating in there — I mean there are religious ceremonies in there where people are baptized.”

The city discovered the dumping on Sept. 7 and notified state regulators, according to e-mails between the state and water advocates shared with this paper.

Workers diverted 200,000 gallons per day of fecal flow from clogged sewer pipes into a storm drain that spills into the creek near Shell Road and Shore Parkway, according to city and state officials. That’s the same rate as the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which garnered international headlines for its prodigious output in 2010.

The apartments have since fixed the issue and stopped dumping in the creek, according to a spokesman from the Department of Environmental Protection.

The agency did not respond to questions about penalties for the illicit dumping, why it did not alert locals when it found out, or how long Beach Haven had been at it. The complex may have been sending sewage into the creek for months or years, according to Water Trail Association co-founder Rob Buchanan, who is in conversation with the state on the matter.

A rep at Beach Haven denied any involvement — despite the city’s confirming it was responsible — and suggested it may have been a neighboring complex.

“That is completely untrue, we would never, never do such a thing,” said Sam, a spokesman for the Beach Haven’s management company Apartment Management Associates who refused to give his last name. “We don’t operate that way. Perhaps you have us confused with the Beach Haven Apartments next door.”

The creek had the city’s turdiest water in 2014, according to analysis by data crunchers at blog I Quant NY.

Harbor watchdogs the Waterfront Alliance first noted the dumping in a blog post.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 8:37 pm, October 5, 2016
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Reader feedback

Alfred Pirovits from (born) Sheepshead Bay says:
Back in late summer of 1999, I made the 911 call to alert Coast Guard about fuel oil spill in Sheepshead Bay. It must have gone on for quite a while because I had noticed for months that the odor was extensive along Ocean Av from Jerome to the storm drain mouth. I had noticed same smell many times along Emmons Av. from the prior winter. It was not until I saw the effluent in daylight on delivery day. Everyone should keep active watch on our precious waterways.
Oct. 4, 2016, 11:07 am
Eric from Prospect Heights says:
In Decades-Old Slides, Drops of Blood and Hints of Malaria’s Path
Oct. 5, 2016, 9:52 am
Dáithí from Prospect Heights says:
Breeding like flies
Oct. 5, 2016, 11:50 am
Peter from Park Slope says:
A few years ago I watched a dolphin die in these waters. Also happened in Gowanus Canal, I believe same year. There was the claim that they were already dying but I have to wonder.
Oct. 5, 2016, 2:03 pm
Bruce from Coney Island says:
I also watched the Dolphin die from the Stillwell Ave Bridge. Very Sad. The water was heavily polluted, even without the waste from Beach Haven.

During Sandy, the Creek overflowed flooding the neighborhood.

They should bankrupt the owners of Beach Haven, send a message.
Oct. 11, 2016, 5:24 pm
Matt Goldsmith (JurisGroup, PLLC) from Manhattan says:
Perhaps the "Sam" interviewed was SAMUEL A. BLANK, the AMA's negotiation & mediation specialist, and principal at the Blank Property Group?
Oct. 11, 2016, 8:06 pm

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