Contamination of NYCHA water tanks went unreported

Inspection reports that were just made public reveal that insects, dead birds, and squirrels have been floating inside many of NYCHA's wooden drinking water tanks.

Chelsea Houses tenant Maria Sanchez told Fox 5 that had to buy a water cooler for drinking and cooking because the tap water is "too dark, ugly."

The investigation by the news organization City and State New York claims that water cleaners hired by NYCHA documented the contamination in inspection reports but that those reports were either changed or never handed over to the city's Health Department. In some instances, the reports were blotted with white-out.

"The city housing projects tanks are not maintained as well as the tanks are maintained in the private sector," said David Hochhauser, the president of Isseks Brothers, a company that builds and cleans water tanks.

The company worked with NYCHA for many decades but stopped. Hochhauser said he experienced deplorable working conditions, late payments, and unprofessional oversight.

"We found the whole administration to be too onerous and too difficult to work for," Hochhauser said. "The system doesn't necessarily elicit the best contractors to work for them."

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called the reports "appalling" and "unacceptable."

A   spokesperson for NYCHA told Fox 5 the housing authority has always sent its reports to the Health Department but that the agency will now take a closer look at its repair process to ensure expediency.