The noses of people living near Fort Hamilton Parkway and Marine Avenue are under assault — again.
Ever since the city completed a $6.8-million sewer replacement project in 2006, noxious odors have been seeping into their homes from time to time, and the city has been unable, so far, to pin down the cause.
There’s no rhyme or reason to the occurrences, the sufferers say, and now, the smell is back.
“It’s a misery,” said resident Chris Mascialino. “The smell was gone for a long time, and then, all of a sudden, last week, I started smelling it in my home again.”
How bad is it?
“It wakes you up in the middle of the night to the point where you’re gagging,” said Irene Rivera, one of Mascialino’s neighbors.
“It just pops up out of nowhere,” she added.
Rivera may have her olfactory sense assaulted when she’s within her four walls, but for some of her neighbors, the stench is waiting for them outside their doors.
Barbara Kondash returned from vacation last week to an odor of raw sewage that rose up to greet her from an outside drain.
“I’ve gotten it every day since,” she noted, explaining that the odor appears to be most prominent in the early afternoon and then in the evening. “Every day, I get gagging,” she added.
What’s most infuriating, the residents say, is the fact that, after four years, the city has yet to pin down a cause or come up with a solution that actually works.
At one point, the Department of Environmental Protection put pine-filled socks down the sewers to mask the stench.
The city has also sent workers into homes to test the air, but Rivera and others who let them in have been unable in nearly three years to get the results of the testing, which were supposed to be available to them in two weeks. Most recently, in February, the city hired an outside firm, Webster Environmental Associates, to poke its nose into the problem, but the results of that study have not yet been released.
“DEP remains committed to finding a solution to the odor issue on Fort Hamilton Parkway,” said Mercedes Padilla, an Environmental Protection spokeswoman, who explained that the agency is “still analyzing the consultant’s findings in order to determine what the appropriate next steps should be to address the impact on the community.”
But, residents are tired of waiting.
“I really don’t know how or when they are going to fix this,” Rivera said. “It’s very frustrating.”