City, police step in to address health hazard caused by broken pipe at Park Street apartment building
By Steve Freker
The stench itself was overbearing. But the cause of the nasty smell was dangerous enough to close off the entire street Wednesday, from about midday until the early evening hours. A broken pipe in the basement of a four-story, 12-unit apartment building at the northern end of Park Street, just off Malden Square, ended up causing an unauthorized flow of raw sewage into the street and along the gutters of the sidewalks.
Apparently, police got a tip that an unidentified small group of persons in the basement of 46-50 Park St. apartments were allegedly dumping raw sewage that had been bailed out of the basement of the apartment building, right onto Park Street. “It just made a bad situation worse,” said a neighbor near the scene. “They were trying to get the sewage out of the basement, since that was an issue.
“But you can’t just throw it into the streets. That’s a big problem,” the man added.
Malden Police stepped in, and those persons who had allegedly been bailing the raw sewage skedaddled, according to reports. Police used plastic sawhorses to block off both ends of Park Street and notified various Malden municipal departments, including the Mayor’s Office, Department of Public Works (DPW) and Water Department, as well as the city’s Health Department.
Department and agency heads all convened on the scene and, according to reports, it was decided to call in Clean Harbors personnel to professionally address the hazardous situation and immediately work to address the proper removal and eventual cleanup of the site. Clean Harbors is a nationally known waste management and cleanup company. Workers were seen in the early to late afternoon hours and into the evening hours addressing the raw sewage spill and cleaning up the area, professionally, to mitigate the danger to the public in general, including the residents of 46-50 Park St. and those in the immediate neighborhood.
Since the main entrance to the Malden Public Library is located directly on Park Street, on the same side as the apartments, and Malden High School is located directly across from the southern end of Park Street, Malden Police took an extra layer of caution. They advised library patrons to be careful where they stepped – not into any of the puddles of sewage in the street. Malden High School officials were instructed to not allow students coming out at the end of school at 2:15 p.m. to cross Salem Street and be near the end of Park Street. MHS Principal Chris Mastrangelo made that announcement right at the end of the school day, which just happened to be the first official day of school for both Malden High and the Malden Public Schools district on Wednesday.
The cleanup crew worked into the evening hours and Park Street was eventually reopened to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.