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“When it rained, water poured into my unit from the bathtub and the toilet”


“Dear PoPville,

My boyfriend and I rent the basement unit of one of the row homes on this street. Sunday night, at approximately 5:50, my boyfriend noticed an odor in our unit and went to investigate. He went to our bathroom and saw dirty water coming out of the drain in the bathtub. Water was also coming out of the toilet. In addition, water was pouring out of the storm drains outside our front and back door – so much so that there was approximately 6 inches of standing water at one point. Some of this water leaked through the doors and into our apartment. We were fortunate that he was home and we were able to clean up the water immediately, with little damage. I’ve heard our neighbors were not so lucky. Our landlords and other residents immediately called 311. To my knowledge, no one from 311 responded to these calls – certainly, no one from any city agency came to our unit to investigate.

This is particularly troublesome because approximately one year ago, the apartment flooded while I was on vacation – requiring my landlords to make extensive renovations. It was later learned that DPW had not cleaned the leaves out of the sewers, as they are required to do, so the sewers were backed up. When it rained, water poured into my unit from the bathtub and the toilet – just as it did Sunday, damaging the floors and floor coverings. Just as troubling, my landlords told me they called DPW a few weeks ago to inquire as to when the sewers would be cleaned and received no response. Similarly, I was told that neighbors called 311 to inform them that just last week, following the heavy rain, there was significant standing water on 10th Street. To the best of my knowledge, there was no response to their inquiry either.

I’d love to hear suggestions on how to get DPW to respond to this now reoccurring problem. The fact that it affects our entire block leads me to believe it’s related to the sewer/water lines and not the individual units. I’ve contacted Rep. Evans and our ANC reps, but additional suggestions are welcome.”

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