The cesspool at 38 Colvin St. Coventry, RI (a section 8 rental property) has been overflowing for almost two years. Rhode Island DEM has inspected the problem and (according to DEM officials) has contacted the landlord, Gregg Mattio, of West Greenwich, RI and has told him to fix the cesspool and to keep it pumped out until it is fixed. (That has not happened.) DEM has also sent a copy of the notice to the Building Inspector of the Town of Coventry.
Town officials say that enforcement of cesspool-related problems is the responsibility of DEM; DEM officials say that they do not have the man power to enforce the directive to fix the cesspool. Meanwhile the problem continues, as raw sewage overflows the cesspool, runs across the yard, and directly into a storm drain that dumps into the Pawtuxet River, which is across the street from the property.
This is a health hazard to the tenants, their children, and local residents. Children often swim downstream from where the storm drain dumps into the river. Additionally, it is an ecological problem, as this branch of the Pawtuxet River supports numerous species of plants, fish and waterfowl.