Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Dorwood Park residents cry foul

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Buffalo: Dorwood Park residents cry foul
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People who live in a Niagara County mobile home park are crying foul over the foul sight and smell of sewage overflowing in their yards. YNN's Antoinette DelBel reports on the response to the findings.

RANSOMVILLE, N.Y. - Residents of Dorwood Mobile Home Park maintain the bubbling water near their homes is sewage overflowing from a septic tank.

"These are cisterns (septics)," said Stephen Farrell, a tenant. "It has a small leach field, and the leach field's not big enough to hold the amount of sewage that comes from both mobile homes."

Farrell moved into Dorwood Park in Ransomville three years ago. He claims the park's septic system has not been maintained, causing unsanitary conditions.

"There was an open cesspool next to my house for a year and a half," he said. "I stepped in it while mowing the guy's lawn and had to throw away my shoes. They finally fixed it this past year, but after a year and a half, the septic system was pouring all over the yard, you could smell it from houses away."

Dorwood resident Deborah Stewart tells a similar story: septic problems since last spring.

"I've been here for seven years and three months and they've never ever looked at my septic," said Stewart. "I can smell all the sewage coming up out of my bathroom, the toilet, the sink."

Stewart showed us her property Thursday morning and said the park's maintenance crew was notified about it three weeks ago. After YNN left her house Thursday afternoon, she told us a crew then came out to fix it.

"They have to dig down to the transfer box, pull the transfer box apart and then stick the hose in there to clean it and then put it back on," said Farrell. "So what they do is they wait until it blows the transfer casing, floods the yard."

"Sewage is potentially harmful to humans," said Niagara County Supervising Public Health Engineer Paul Dicky. "There's bacteria within the sewage that could cause different gastrointestinal illnesses."

We're told an inspector from the Niagara County Health Department found ground sewage on site last December, but says there was no evidence of a failing tank and maintenance fixed the septic system the next day.

According to the health department, as long as the system is functional, it does not have to be replaced with current design standards.

"This park was approved in 1958, so the sewer systems that are in there are probably dating back as far as that time," said Dicky. "If the system fails and it needs to be remediated or altered in some manner, then those current standards would have to be applied to it."

Not all who live at Dorwood share the concern.

"I don't smell any sewage, so I would assume we're not having any septic problems," said resident Michael Brungardt.

We spoke with the park's property manager. She did not want to go on camera and said she didn't have a comment at this time.

YNN also reached out to the park's owner in New Jersey for comment. He did not return our calls.

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