Albany Water Department working to fix 106 year old messy mistake


The more than 100-year-old mistake was uncovered recently during a recent renovation project at 402 Broadway.

“We were trying to help them figure out where the sewer was going. And we learned at that point that their lateral [line] to the sewer actual connected to building 412.”

Albany Water Department Commissioner Joe Coffey says they didn’t want the neighboring buildings sewer lines to remain connected. When a crew started working to disconnect the lines they realized the sewer line from 412 went into a storm drain which leads right to the Hudson River.

“Right now we’re guessing more than 6,000 to 7,000 gallons a day that might be going out. But I don’t know for 100 years what the other use of the building was,” Coffey said.

In the late 19th Century the Argus Building had been a publishing and printing house. It was recently converted into 30 luxury apartments with a storefront below.

Coffey says in 1913 Albany was busy connecting homes and businesses to a new wastewater treatment plant, but for some reason, the connection underneath the Argus Building never happened.

“When they built this new interceptor sewer in 1913 they [made a note to connect] the Beaver Street sewer and they never made that connection.”

Coffey says crews should have both sewage lines connected to the city sewer system within one week.

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