Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Paltz has some crap to deal with

It's a small town, so you may be aware of the bizarre and tragic loss of my family's sewer line, and the amazing outpouring of support our friends, family, and neighbors have given to support the FlushAid sewer replacement campaign.  Our sewer appeal has raised nearly $2,000, and the benefit show has eight bands lined up to play at Snug's, last time I checked.  (And it's on my birthday, which is weird and cool.)

Check out the FlushAid page to learn more about the history of that situation, and I thank you in advance for anything you may give, dear reader, but even without an end in sight I know that this problem is bigger than my family, and that we as a community have a long way to go.

I've been concerned about New Paltz sewage since Irene hit.  (That post I linked also shows that I can't always sort out in my mind the difference between our water and sewer problems, which is part of the problem -- we use water for drinking and for feces.)  Our system is collapsing and our governments are only doing to bare minimum to fix it, because the full overhaul it needs is going to take probably a 10-figure number.  The cost per foot is huge, and the combined New Paltz system is in varying states of decay, with many of the mains more than a hundred years old.

If we can't afford to bring it up to modern standards, and we can't prevent more people from moving here, what next?  Is it time to explore other ways to deal with our feces, so that it doesn't float down the Wallkill River every time it rains too hard?  Is it time to seriously focus on raising funds to improve our waterborne system?

FlushAid is a personal appeal, but I think it can grow to address a much bigger problem, one that impacts the entire community of New Paltz.


Martin McPhillips said...
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Jason West said...

Terrence --

I just saw this posting and wanted to point out (publickly, since you and Robin have both been reminded privately) that the problems you and Robin are having with your private sewer lines are just that; private. Just like your roof, you (along with everyone else in the Village) is responsible for maintainting your lines in good order. The Village maintains the main only. The conditions of those mains are, as you write, variable, which is why we are undergoing a regular process of ugrades and repairs. You amy have noticed the half a million worth of work being done on Huguenot Street at the moment.

I (and everyone) am sorry you and Robin are having a difficult time getting our sewer system fixed. But the situation you find yourself in involves sewer lines not maintained, repaired or replaced by the Village.