New York Newsday, Manhattan edition
Friday, April 17, 1992
[A photograph shows the interior of a dog ward with rows of two tier cages. Photo caption reads: "The new ASPCA facility on East 110th Street in Manhattan can hold up to 450 animals, but it hasn't been too pleasant lately."]
Doggy Toilets Don't Flush
System Won't Hold Water
By: Chapin Wright, staff writer
Some folks at the ASPCA are in deep doo-doo these days.
Only a week after moving into a new $4-million facility, workers at the main animal shelter in Manhattan are cleaning out dogs' cages by hand because low water pressure has rendered an automated flushing system useless, officials at the organization said yesterday.
"If you're trying to move dog feces, you need a certain amount of water pressure to do it," said Herman cohen, executive vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "The amount of water pressure from the city is 15 pounds per square inch less than required."
As a result, workers at the new East 110th Street facility must scrub out the more than 200 dog cages with brushes and sponges, Cohen said.
"It's not very pleasant work," he said.
To increase the water pressure, the ASPCA will have to spend between $2,000 and $3,000 to install its own pumps, Cohen said. That work could take two weeks, he said.
While plans were being drawn for the new 13,500-square-foot shelter, Cohen said, ASPCA officials understood from city information that the water pressure would be sufficient.
But when the faucets were turned on last week, the flow was around 25 pounds per square inch, equal to the force of a shower, but not strong enough to flush the cages, Cohen said. Water pressure of 40 psi is required for the job, he said.
Officials at the city's Department of Environmental Protection said they had no information about the shelter's water situation.
The new shelter is equipped with a "radically new design" in cage cleaning technology, Cohen said. The timed system flushes the cages with water every 15
minutes. The cages are slightly tilted from front to back so the waste water flows into a gutter that runs between them, he said.
Low water pressure isn't the only problem at the shelter, which occupies a two story, former factory at 310 East 110th St., between First and Second Avenues.
"There are a couple spots on the floor where the concrete was poured where it's not as pitched as it could be, and there is some pooling of water," said Cohen. He said the contractor will be asked to fix the floor so that it drains properly.
"Some of the things are not working as well as they should," Cohen said.
The new shelter, which also includes an adoption center and spay-neuter clinic, was built with funds from a $22.8-million revenue bond issue by the New York Industrial Development Agency. The proceeds also were used to renovate a six story building at 424 East 92nd St. to house the ASPCA's national headquarters and a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital. The shelter has space for up to 450 animals.