Man seeks help with contaminated water on his Watertown property

Updated: Jun. 20, 2019 at 5:27 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Ed Scharf found a couple of feet of water on Thursday when he went to check on the property he owns on Morrison Street in Watertown.

“It’s getting deeper now, it’s up to my knees,” he said.

The water is seeping into the garage and the basement of the home.

Scharf says the water is contaminated and coming from a retention pond on what used to be a salt pile site behind his property. It has been an ongoing problem; he says any time there is rain or snow melt, the pond overflows.

“The water just flows out of the corner of that land by his pond and is allowed to come down here,” he said.

Scharf says one time there was so much water it came from his property, went all the way across the street and ended up in between two neighbors homes.

“You have no idea how much sleep I’ve lost, how much hair I’ve lost,” he said.

Scharf says there used to be a pump station at the pond that ran the water to the Black River. But he says that and a liner were taken out and he started getting water on his property.

He says it has compromised the foundation on the garage and the home. He also says he's gone through 6 sump pumps trying to keep water out and that it's costing him $140 a month to run 2 in the basement at a time.

“I kinda reached my breaking point where the damage and the expense I’m incurring due to someone else’s problem and it’s just not right. I think fundamentally any single one of us would not let this occur if this is your property,” he said.

Scharf wants a solution. He says he has tried to get help from the city.

On Thursday, a code enforcement officer and a Department of Public Works worker came to check it out. The fire department also came, which called in the state Department of Environmental Conservation because of the contaminated water.

We reached out to city Code Enforcement, but didn’t hear back.

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