Assemblyman Colton’s Campaign Against Clogged Catch Basins and Sewers Overflow

Assemblyman William Colton’s (D – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) campaign against clogged catch basin and sewer overflow continue. We all know that the catch basin function is solely to collect rainwater from properties and streets to transport it to local waterways through a system of underground piping. It also helps to prevent the downstream pipes from becoming clogged and to reduce the amount of residue and waste being discharged into rivers and creeks.

 “Earlier this month a letter was sent to the DEP Commissioner demanding that federal infrastructure monies be used for sewer upgrades. The Ida flooding happened due to a drainage system that is a century old and was not built to handle that much water at once. The sewer system was overwhelmed and was unable to handle such heavy rains. In my letter to the DEP Commissioner I demanded that clogged catch basins must be vacuumed down on the regular basis,” Colton stated.

 “Poorly maintained catch basins are harmful and may cause standing water which is dangerous to the foundation of the property. Standing water also may lead to more serious problems such as bacteria and mold. The result may be cracks in the foundation which can cause water leaks into the house and unneeded driveway repair which is a major expense to the homeowners. I physically walked through the neighborhood streets and found countless catch basins blocked with debris, greasy water, and gucky substances. I cleaned a number of them myself to prevent flooding, but unfortunately, I cannot cover the entire neighborhood. However, there are some tips to prevent flooding: Homeowners and anyone with the flood concern need to report it to my office where the standing water ponds are or where you see catch basin clogged up.My staff will report all problem areas to the DEP and demand equipment to be sent to vacuum it out. If you wish, you can also call 311 yourself, just make sure to get a tracking number so we can follow up if the work was done,” Colton said.

 “As I mentioned above, I am starting a campaign to demand the city to determine where there has been a growth in density which results in the need to replace sewer pipe in the street with larger one which can absorb the increased amounts of sewer water. If your block experiences flooding either from the buildup of ponding water from outside or from water backing up into your house from sewer pits, toilets, or other household outlets, then call my office at 718 236 1598 and my staff will report it to DEP and demand the city’s immediate action. This will be an extended process but with violent storms becoming more common we must start pressuring the city to upgrade our sewer systems,’ Colton continued.

 “If you suffered any damages from Ida, then you may be able to be reimbursed from FEMA. You must prove your losses and the damages and file a claim. You can get claim applications and info from the internet at or you can call my office for assistance,” Colton added.