Slight Mistake By NYC Plumber Costs Owner Thousands For Sewer Repair

Jobsite Reports, New Sewer & Water Mains, Sewer Line Replacement, Sewer Repair
October 11, 2011

by David Balkan

DEP Violation
DEP Violation
DEP Cease And Desist Order

Recently a Queens homeowner received a NYC DEP Cease and Desist order for a house sewer violation. The violation contended that sanitary waste was being dumped into the NYC storm sewer system. The DEP determined this by doing a dye test of the sanitary and storm sewer lines. Furthermore it resulted in the NYC DEP closing the tap connection for the house water main leaving the occupants without water until the violation was corrected. As the present owners were not the original owners of the house and bought the house without any known plumbing violations they were quite confused and distraught. The house had been built in the late 1980’s and had a certificate of occupancy which indicated there were no existing violations requiring a sewer replacement. The sewer repair work the DEP demanded would cost thousands of dollars and would also have to include a new double vent sewer trap to legalize one of the sewers – a single vent trap was installed for one of the lines and is not legal for a sanitary house sewer in NYC.

House Sewer
Sewer Excavation
Double vent house trap
Sewer Trap

The sewer trap, sewer repair and partial sewer replacement issue became a case in point of how a simple error by a NYC plumber went undetected for many years with very costly results for an innocent homeowner. When Balkan Sewer And Water Main Service was called to the scene they originally thought that the sewer contractor that made the house sewer connections had performed illegal work and connected the sanitary sewer into the storm sewer to take a ‘shortcut’ and save money. Balkan assumed that a complete sewer replacement would be required. This turned out to not be the case- both sewers were installed correctly and legally. What Balkan found was that the NYC plumber who performed the work on the sewer pipe inside the house when it was built had incorrectly connected the house storm water lines to the sanitary house trap, and the sanitary house drain lines to the storm house trap.

The corrective sewer replacement work involved installing a new sewer trap on one the house sewer lines and ‘switching over’ the house sewer lines outside the building so each house sewer was restricted to accepting the correct flow of sanitary and storm water. So in lieu of a complete sewer replacement, a less costly sewer repair could be performed. In addition the water main had to be reactivated by opening the tap connection that the NYC DEP had turned off. The sewer repair work also entailed making sure that each house sewer had the correct pitch as the NYC sewer for sanitary flow and storm water flow were at different elevations. In the end an error in judgement by the original plumber in the 1980’s cost this Queens homeowner around $9,000.00. Balkan did correct the house sewer and sewer trap problem by performing a sewer repair and partial sewer replacement thereby satisfying the DEP cease and desist order – but not all stories have a happy ending.

About Joseph L. Balkan, Inc.

balkan plumbing owners joseph l balkan
Owners of Joseph L. Balkan, Inc.

Balkan Sewer And Water Main is the largest main water line, sewer repair & sewer replacement company in NYC. We are licensed, bonded, and insured. As a family run business in continuous operation for over 50 years. Our 10 year unconditional guarantee on replacements means that we continue to stand by our work, long after the job is done. We are expertly equipped, from our 48,000 square foot facility to dozens of trucks, heavy moving equipment, backhoes and pneumatics. Choose Balkan Sewer And Water Main for your next sewer repair, water main installation, water repair, water line leaks, NYC DEP violations, sewer replacement, water line replacement, sewer trap, backwater valve, hydrants, manholes, specialty water main work, area drain, and trench drains. Contact Balkan Sewer And Water Main today for prompt and professional service.

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

Dave Balkan

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