RCSD #1 Spill Report for Cherry Lane Spill

August 25, 26, 27, 28

The two pages of the report appear below, and then there are the questions not yet answered. You can
read the original Preserve Ramapo story of the event, with time line and photos here.


The first call to notify authorities was made by a neighbor to the DPW late afternoon, Friday Oct. 25. Then
there was a call to the Ramapo Police, same afternoon. And, finally, on Saturday morning, a municipal worker
from Airmont was also told, and shown the erupting manhole. Was the DPW call the Sewer District said it got Sunday
morning the Friday night notification? Was the Monday followup also based on the Friday night call? In other words,
did the District know that the first complaint was Friday afternoon.

Also, how did the District come up with the spill estimate? If you listen to the neighbors about the force of the flow
and the duration (see original story) the 4,000 gallons seem absurd. That volume would have been spewed out into the
Cherry Brook in six minutes. Friday 6pm to Monday morning 6am is sixty hours. Is this estimate typical of those reported
in the more than hundred spill reports we have listed on our website?

After interviewing neighbors about the spill, Preserve Ramapo relayed this new information to the Sewer District (the engineer
who wrote the report), the Board of Health, and the individual in charge of waste water matters at the Department of
Environmental Control. To this date (Oct 17), the report has not been corrected, no one has tested the water in the two lakes
right below the spill, and no one has been out to talk to residents or to answer their questions. A spill lasting sixty hours through
the sewer pipe at that location (factoring the slowest possible velocity for the flow) would have put 2.5 million gallons of raw
sewage directly into recreational waters a few hundred yards downstream. Neighbors said they smelled the bad odor, heard the
waterfall sound, and saw the brook running cloudy for a week or two before the Friday phone calls. The spill could have been as
catastrophic as 14 million gallons.

Michael Castelluccio