Sewer Line Replacement in Cobble Hill Brooklyn

A pair of newlyweds had recently purchased their first home in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and was looking to make a few minor upgrades as they were moving in.  After utilizing their bathrooms for a few days they started to notice that the sewer line had been backing up in the basement, they were quick to check brownstoner.com when they came across the Harris Water Main & Sewer Contractors’ website.  Harris quickly dispatched one of their technicians to investigate the sewer line and attempt to water jet the line if possible.  The tech continued to encounter several rough spots filled with roots in the sewer line when he performed a camera inspection on the inside of the pipe, his findings showed the old clay sewer pipe was not only filled with roots but was also broken in several locations.

Roots in sewer pipe

Roots in sewer pipe

At this point there was no option but to replace the entire sewer line from the building to the roadway where the city sewer line is located.  Harris began working on all of the DOT and DEP permits the same day and was scheduled to start the new sewer line installation the next morning.  Due to the proximity of a nearby tree, Harris was also required to obtain a NYC Parks Dept. permit, as well as having an ISA Certified Consulting Arborist on site.  The Arborist serves as a liaison in-between the Parks Dept. and Harris Water to make sure the city trees are not damaged.

The Harris sewer installation team was excavating the property within 48 hrs. for the new cast iron sewer line installation.  The first day consisted of breaking up the concrete in front of the house and excavating 7’ to where the existing clay sewer line is located; the new cast iron pipe was installed from the house to underneath the city sidewalk before the day was over.  Normally Harris would have been required to open the sidewalk for the DEP to inspect the pipe; in this case the city tree was too close requiring Harris to make a tunnel from the property underneath the sidewalk to the roadway.  All DEP inspections were passed before the hole was closed and secured for the second day of installation.

Working around utilities

Working around utilities

Harris began opening the roadway at 8:30 AM the next day when they encountered electric lines running across the trench being dug, this required a lot of hand digging as opposed to digging by a machine.  The electric lines would not allow for the backhoe bucket to fit in-between the electric lines.  The crew worked diligently to install the remaining 16’ of new sewer pipe from the sidewalk to the existing spur connection on the city sewer.  The new pipe was installed by 3:30pm which was just in time for the DEP inspector who signed off on the job.   Harris now closed the hole with temporary asphalt before the roadway is permanently restored.


The Harris family has been in the plumbing industry for over 90 years, we are still family owned and operated serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx on a daily basis.  You can contact our office at 718-495-3600 for a free estimate or if you have any general questions regarding your water line or sewer.


A Brief History on Cobble Hill Brooklyn

Courtesy of Wikipedia

cobble_hill_sewer_logoCobble Hill is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, USA. Bordered by Atlantic Avenue on the north, Hicks Street to the west, Smith Street on the east and Degraw Street to the south, Cobble Hill sits adjacent to Boerum Hill and Brooklyn Heights with Carroll Gardens to the south. The Cobble Hill Historic District covers the majority of the neighborhood. This historic district does not include portions of the Cobble Hill neighborhood such as the part between Court Street and Smith Street. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board.

Its historic district, first designated on December 20, 1969 and extended on June 7, 1988, is roughly bordered by Atlantic Avenue to the north, Degraw Street to the South, Court Street to the east and Hicks Street (with the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway on the lower level) to the west.

Its area measures approximately twenty-two city blocks. With the establishment of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965, charming and historically important neighborhoods like Cobble Hill got a chance to be safeguarded from developers, and stabilized property values and economic strength for property owners. According to the Landmark Preservation Commission, the Cobble Hill Historic District is an “unusually fine 19th century residential area” and “retains an aura of the past” with its charming streets and architecture. The Cobble Hill Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.[4] Former bank, at Court and Atlantic

Cobble Hill (or Ponkiesbergh as it was first called) was originally settled during the 1640s by Dutch farmers. The name “Cobble Hill”, according to local tradition,came from cobble stones being disposed in the site. The cobble stones were used as ballast on trading ships arriving from Europe, South Brooklyn being a major cargo port. The high elevation point at the corner of present day Atlantic Avenue and Court Street, where the largest mass of cobble stones was disposed, was used as a Fort during both the American War of Independence and the War of 1812 (1812–1814). In 1834, the village of Brooklyn (present-day Brooklyn Heights), become a City and soon expanded south beyond Atlantic Street (now Atlantic Avenue) to include South Brooklyn.