Emergency Sewer Break in Brooklyn

December 20, 2012

Emergency sewer replacements must be handled in a very organized and timely fashion.  There are many moving pieces that must be put in place before a sewer or water main contractor can begin excavating for a sewer line replacement, especially on a major roadway such as Church Ave. in Brooklyn.church_ave_3  Harris Water Main & Sewer contractors responded to an emergency phone call from the owner of a local fruit and vegetable market.  The owner had been cleaning the sewer line with a snake for the last year, the time span in-between cleanings had started to become more frequent before the store had an all-out failure of the sewer line.  When the store owner was asked “is there anything you would have done differently in approaching your sewer issue”, he did not hesitate to respond “I would not have waited this long to resolve the issue”.  Just like the market owner, many homeowners  try and push a sewer replacement off as long as possible and never think it is going to become a true emergency situation until it is occurring.  This particular store owner ended up losing the usage of his basement for storage amongst several other variables needed to successfully run his store.

The Harris Sewer crew was onsite to start the job on an emergency basis.  This particular job required the sewer line to be replaced from the inside of the basement with a new trap, to the city sewer in the middle of the roadway which would consist of almost 50’ of new extra heavy cast iron pipe.  The job required an arborist onsite as the sewer crew was excavating under the “drip line” of a city tree.  Harris was able to successfully install new piping from the new trap inside the building, to the city curb line all within the first day of work.  The pipe installation was inspected and passed by the NYC DEP, the hole was backfilled and made safe with temporary blacktop.

church_ave_5On day 2 of excavation Harris had to pay extra attention to all safety regulations as this particular section of Brooklyn is a very heavily traveled street.  The required safety signs were setup on each end of the jobsite notifying people of the heavy machinery in addition to 3 flagmen that would be navigating the traffic for the next 7 hours of the day.  Upon excavation of the roadway, the onsite crew came across old train tracks in the roadway which had to be cut before the backhoe could continue excavating 13’ down to the city sewer.  The train tracks set the crew back a couple of hours however, they were aware that this job had to be completed in a specified time frame and was prepared to do whatever was required to stay on pace.

The pipe installation was successfully completed on day 3, NYC DEP inspection was passed and a special “protected street” testing and inspection had to be completed as this roadway had been paved over within the prior 5 years.  All of the final restoration was completed the next day and the market owner was extremely happy that the job was completed in its entirety before a long holiday weekend.

Harris Water Main & Sewer Contractors is Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx’s premiere water line and sewer line contractor as we are the only 4th generation family owned and operated company in all of the 5 boroughs.  The Harris family takes pride in beingextrely hands-on when dealing with the day to day operations of running the company.

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Making sure the dirt being removed is at least a foot away from the hole is important. 
No debris should fall back into the tunnels as the team is working 

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