Gasoline in the Water in Kensington?

A friend who lives in Kensington sent us these photos last night and told us that around 10 pm, she got home and found her water contaminated with gasoline. A fireman she spoke to said that someone may have dumped it into the sewers. Firetrucks came to her block as well (see a photo after the jump), near Dahill Road and Clara Street. Is anyone else who lives in Kensington having this problem?

UPDATE: A spokesman from NYC Department of Environmental Protection tells us that it’s not possible for anything in the sewers to end up in the drinking water, because the water supply is a closed, pressurized system that carries clean drinking water from the Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers. He added that the fastest way to get rid of any discolored water is to run your taps. The water may be discolored because of a change in the flow, or because firefighters were running a firehose. The DEP plans to send someone to the area to investigate the water. Our tipster who lives on the block said the water smelled like gasoline, as did the block.

15 Comment

  • How does gasoline get from the sewers into the water suppy in a supposed developed country???

  • I sure hope this was just an off the cuff comment by NY’s Bravest in order to satisfy the locals looking for an answer. The thought that anything dumped down the sewers would wind up in the drinking water in Kensington is a bit disturbing. So, basically it took something as strong as gasoline before anybody noticed they were drinking sewage run-off?

  • I live a few blocks north of this. The whole block smelled like gasoline. We could smell it in the house.

  • ok, so everything smelled like gasoline, so of course the water seemed to smell too. Most likely there was some gasoline spill, at one of the nearby gas stations, the smell traveled, and separately there was something that caused the water to be discolored. I’d bet the water tests fine.. anyway if there was gasoline in the water it would travel to the surface, which doesn’t look like it.

  • This story is inflammatory

  • I don’t wish to sound like a total a-hole, but has everyone thrown logic out the window? How in the world would it make sense that whatever washes into the storm drains comes out of your kitchen tap?

    In our haste to make drama, we have lost our ability to think, even a little bit.

  • A couple of questions:
    1. Was the FDNY responding to a complaint of gasoline in the air/water made through 911, or were they there for another reason? Air/ water complaints should be made through 311.
    2. Did the FDNY open any fire hydrants to try to resolve a perception of gasoline in the drinking water, or to disperse the smell of gasoline which may have been discarded in the sewer? Opening hydrants will definitely cause dirty water in the surrounding residences, especially if the hydrants were opened at high velocity.

    As on commenter posted, logic dictates that the gasoline could not possibly get into the water main if dumped into the sewer as the water main is highly pressurized. So the gasoline smell must have been in the air, and when you then stick your nose in the glass of dirty water, of course you may smell gasoline. In my humble opinion.

    • “Air/ water complaints should be made through 311”

      That depends on how serious they are; eminent threats to life (i.e. if there’s REALLY gasoline in the water) should obviously go to 911.

      • If a person smells gasoline in the water, do not drink it and call 311. Calling 911 will elicit an immediate response from fire or police, but will not direct the appropriate City personnel to the issue.

  • the only thing i can think of is that there was an issue with a piece of equipment in the closest water treatment plant. is there some sort of intermediate tank facility where some big pipes meet that carry water into staten island? its hard to imagine with a pressurized system, however there must be sampling stations or some sort of small reservoir tank thingy (thats a DEP technical term). otherwise this baffles.