Glen Cove Man ID’s, Plugs Leaking Sewage Pipe
By Maureen Daly
A Glen Cove man, Joseph Douso, is being credited with uncovering a dangerous sewage pollution problem that was contaminating local waters.
Douso is a lifelong resident of Glen Cove, and spent his lifetime in Glen Cove and its neighboring waterways. He has explored the local ponds and streams since childhood.
Douso knew something was wrong when he noticed an unfamiliar smell and whitish tinge in the rainwater discharge at the sewer main that emptied into Hemptead Harbor. Douso investigated further.
“I walked where the entrance is with my boots and iPhone and flashlight,” stated Douso, “and found a large sewer pipe that was broken dumping sewage right into this drainage tunnel. Raw sewage right into the stream.”
Monitoring teams with the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor saw their weekly bacteria results as much as 60 times higher than normal. Hidden beneath Glen Cove’s roads was a break in a waste sewer line, spewing raw sewage right into the rainwater sewers.
Glen Cove officials alerted the county. The waste sewer break was located, and crews bypassed the broken pipe, bringing bacteria levels back down.
“If the break had not been found, this could have gone on for years and years, contributing more and more bacteria to the creek, which leads into the harbor, right where there’s beaches, shellfish beds and could jeopardize them for the long term,” said Eric Swenson, with the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee. “He’s a hero to find it.”