Sewer System Failure in Port Richmond?

Monday’s heavy rain soaked the region and caused flooding in several homes throughout the area. In the aftermath, some local residents are questioning whether the city’s sewer system has failed.

Monday night’s storm dropped 2.5 inches of rain. On Tuesday an NBC10 viewer sent us an email, stating that he believed the rain caused a bad surge in the storm water system in the Port Richmond section of the city. As a result, there was massive flooding in several homes and streets, including Richmond, Aramingo and Ontario.

“Understandable that the rain was heavy but I watched as the manhole cover outside my front door rattled with the pressure in the system and lifted off the street and fell back down,” wrote the viewer. “After that we had a geyser coming out of our basement laundry sinks.  Every one of the neighbors had the same thing happen.”

NBC10 spoke to Port Richmond residents on Wednesday who showed us the damage the flooding has done to their homes. The residents say water is now coming up from their toilets, sinks and washing machines in their basements, causing thousands of dollars in damage that insurance won’t cover.

“I don’t know if it was mud or stuff from the sewer,” one resident said. “It was disgusting.”

“I’m not sure who’s responsible,” said another resident. “I know the storm water system has a capacity and it was approaching the capacity that night.”

Residents say they called the Philadelphia Water Department but received no response. NBC10 reached out to PWD officials to find out the cause of the flooding. PWD officials say they believe the sewer system was working but was overtaxed due to so much rain in such a short amount of time.

Officials from the water department will inspect the neighborhood to figure out what exactly happened. They also say however that the sewer inlets of the neighborhood were cleaned six months ago.

The Water Department advises residents to fill out this damage survey online as they continue to investigate.


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