Spectacular views, but oh, that awful smell


They are luxurious cooperative apartments with a breathtaking view of the Hudson River. Yet, from time to time, that view comes with a foul odor, thanks to what some residents at Skyview-on-the-Hudson says is a wastewater treatment plant just across the city line in Yonkers.

Some of those residents visited Community Board 8’s environment and sanitation committee recently, telling members that while the problem does not affect all apartments, it has become worse in the last two years.

“I smell it, too,” said Jeremy Jutkowitz, a board member at the three-building high-rise complex located on Arlington Avenue. “Every once in a while at night time or maybe an evening, you get sewage on the wind.”

He and other residents believe that smell is coming from the Yonkers Joint Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The facility serves a population of more than 500,000 — a large portion of them in Westchester County. It treats an average of 100 millions gallons of materials each day, according to the Grace Communications Foundation, which works to make the public more aware of how such facilities impact the environment and health.

While the odor had not drifted into his apartment, Jutkowitz said he would sometimes get a whiff standing on his terrace. It has not changed how he goes about everyday life, but on much nicer weather days, the smell typically has him headed back indoors.

The matter was first brought to the attention of the Skyview board at its annual shareholder’s meeting last year when some residents expressed concerns about the odor from the facility, which is located a little more than a mile away.

What makes the overall issue worse is the claim the plant had, at least until recently, sent trucks transporting sludge to New Jersey at night using Riverdale Avenue. That was all done in the sight — and smell — line of Skyview.

While some are residents at the co-op smell foul odors, others were not even aware such an issue existed. Rachel Jeanty and John Piraino, who live at opposite sides of Skyview, said they never noticed an occasional sewage smell, but didn’t think too much of it.

People working and living at the neighboring Hebrew Home at Riverdale have smelled nothing, and no one has ever complained, said Wendy Steinberg, the assisted living facility’s spokeswoman.

Those that were bothered by what they said was coming from the plant reached out to U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, who in turn contacted outgoing Westchester County executive Rob Astorino last November. Engel repeated those efforts recently with newly sworn-in executive George Latimer, since the facility falls under his jurisdiction.

Engel told the residents in a letter he was able to re-route some of the trucks going to and from the plant away from residential streets. But there was likely a need for more action since some chemicals used to treat the water designed to reduce odor were no longer being utilized.

Catherine Cioffi, a spokeswoman for Latimer, said the county received Engel’s letter and was looking into the matter.

“I’d like to see this corrected,” Jutkowitz said. “I don’t think we should even have to, live with this sewage smell coming from Yonkers.”


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Wow, this sucks and I really feel for these people. Their problem is definitely being caused by that treatment plant, but I am really shocked the smell permeates that far down. I wonder if people who live by the Hebrew Home are experiencing the same issue?

There is a neighborhood just adjacent to this plant. I think it's called Ludlow Park. This is an area with houses that rival anything you see in Fieldston or the Estate Area of Riverdale. I used to ride my bicycle there quite a lot and the stink that permeated that area was literally nauseating and gave me pounding headaches. I always wondered how in the hell people could still live in this area.

Back in the old days before security theater became so prevalent due to the monstrous lie that 9/11 was done by Muslims, my friends and I used to trespass in the sewage plant all the time. You might ask why and that would be a valid question. Mainly it was because of some very cool architecture we loved to photograph. There were these large romanesque columns spitting fire at the top which made for awesome pics. We became very friendly with the security guard there and saw all the inner workings of this place. Needless to say, it's a massive S%@thouse and just reeks. I really feel sorry for anyone who has to smell this. I guess just chalk it up to a reality of choosing to live in NYC.

I would not expect these peoples complaints to be addressed in any serious way since this is another issue that the RP is about 30 years too late on. This stink has been a problem since the beginning, and it ain't going away folks.

3 days ago