Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The New Development of Pelhamwood Gets Approval for its Proposed Sewage System in 1912

Nestled just north of the Pelham station on the New Haven Line is the lovely neighborhood known as Pelhamwood. Almost triangular in shape, the neighborhood is bordered on the north and west by Harmon Avenue, on the south by the railroad tracks and on the east by the New Rochelle border. Beginning in early 1909, Clifford B. Harmon Co. began development of the neighborhood. For those interested in a comprehensive history of the development, see Bell, Blake A., The Early Development of Pelhamwood, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 37, Sept. 17, 2004, p. 12, col. 2.

It was not until 1912, however, that New York State approved plans to provide sewage services to the new development. Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes the State report on the approval of the application to construct that sewage system.


On August 7, 1912, application was made by the board of trustees of the village of North Pelham for the approval of plans for proposed sewers in the Pelhamwood district and in Highbrook, Washington avenue, Fifth avenue and other streets. These plans were approved on August 14, 1912, and a permit was issued to the village authorities on the same date allowing the discharge into Hutchinson river of sewage from the proposed sewers after such sewage shall first have been passed through the Pelham sewage disposal works. The permit and report on the examination of the plans follow.

ALBANY, N. Y., August 14, 1912.
EUGENE H. PORTER, M.D., State Commissioner of Health, Albany, N. Y.:

DEAR SIR: -- I beg to submit the following report on an examination of plans for proposed sanitary sewer extensions in the village of North Pelham, Westchester county, which were submitted to this Department for approval by the board of trustees on August 7, 1912.

Plans for a comprehensive sewer system for the village of North Pelham were approved on August 18, 1908, and on December 21, 1909, amended plans, providing for changes in alignments of some of the sewers of the village, were approved. Final plans for complete sewage disposal works to treat the sewage from the three villages in the town of Pelham, including North Pelham, were approved on June 1, 1910. Plans for a proposed outfall sewer from the villages of Pelham and North Pelham to connect the sewer systems of these villages with the town sewage disposal plant and to be constructed jointly by them were approved on July 10, 1911.

The plans now under consideration show that it is proposed to reconstruct the existing 8-inch sewer in Fifth avenue between first and second streets in the village of North Pelham and to construct new sewers in Highbrook, Washington, Clifford avenues and other streets in the eastern section of the village known as Pelhamwood. This section is a new realty development laid out on the park plan and the sewers are tributary to the existing sewer system of the village of Pelham which connects with the town sewage disposal works.

The proposed sewers are to vary in size from 8-inch to 15-inch in diameter, and manholes are to be placed at intervals of not more than 300 feet, with flush tanks at the upper ends of lateral sewers. Although the rate of slopes of the proposed sewers are not shown on the plans it appears from the invert elevations of the sewers at the manholes that they are to be constructed with slopes sufficiently steep to produce self-cleaning velocities under ordinary conditions.

From our careful examination of plans it is found that the proposed sewers if properly constructed should be adequate as to sizes and capacities to satisfactorily care for the sanitary sewage of the district to be served by them.

I would, therefore, recommend that the plans be approved and a permit be issued allowing the discharge into Hutchinson river of sewage to be collected by the proposed sewers after such sewage shall first have been passed through the sewage disposal works of the town of Pelham, which is located in Pelham Manor.

Respectfully submitted,
Chief Engineer



Application having been duly made to the State Commissioner of Health, as provided by section 77 of chapter 49 of the Laws of 1909, the 'Public Health Law,' as amended by chapter 553 of the Laws of 1911, constituting chapter 45 of the Consolidated Laws, permission is hereby given to the board of trustees of the village of North Pelham to discharge sewage from the sewers in the Pelhamwood district and from the proposed sewers in Highbrook, Washington and Fifth avenue and other streets into the waters of Hutchinson river through the outlet from the Pelham disposal works, within the municipality of Pelham Manor, in accordance with the plans accompanying the petition under the following conditions:

1. That this permit shall be revocable at any time or subject to modification or change when in the judgment of the State Commissioner of Health such revocation, modification or change shall become necessary.

2. That the issuance of this permit shall not be deemed to affect in any way action by this Department on any future application that may be made for permission to discharge additional sewage or effluent into the waters of this State.

3. That only sanitary or domestic sewage, and no storm water or surface water from the streets, roofs or other areas shall be admitted to the proposed sewers.

4. That all the sewage to be collected in the proposed sewers shall be first passed through the sewage disposal works for the town of Pelham for which amended plans were approved by this Department on June 1, 1910.

State Commissioner of Health
August 14, 1912"

Source: State of New York In Assembly - Thirty-Third Annual Report of the State Department of Health - State of New York Executive Chamber, Albany, N. Y., February 17, 1913 , pp. 518-19 (Albany, NY: 1913).

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