LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) — Concerned residents in Lancaster contacted News 4 on Wednesday complaining of a sewage smell in the main drag of the village.

News 4 confirms that the Lancaster Department of Public Works pinpointed the smell, coming from Central Avenue, originated from an illegally hooked up sump pump connected to the property currently housing the Lancaster Coffee Co. & Café.

“The smell started about two weeks ago. You could kind of smell it although it wasn’t terrible because it was very wet and rainy. So, a lot of it was getting washed away, but the last two days, it’s just been almost unbearable. It’s one of the grossest things I’ve ever smelled in my life,” said resident Gene Williams.

Residents noticed the foul smell nearly two weeks ago, taking matters into their own hands to find the source.

“I originally thought that it was something in my apartment that went rotten, and I couldn’t pinpoint it. I recognized the smell once it started getting a little stronger out here, that it was coming from the water that was getting pumped out,” Williams continued.

Business owners and residents then contacted Lancaster DPW and sewer department, who went right to work and investigate the issue.

“Our sewer lines were clear, and it was going to be an issue with the lateral sewer lines that were the building owners’. When they went to the property, they found that there was a sump pump that had not received a permit. It was an illegal hookup and they worked with the building owner to disconnect it,” said Lancaster Mayor Lynne Ruda.

While the sump pump is attached to Lancaster Coffee Co. & Cafe, the issue of the illegal pump and process of rectifying it went through the landlord of the property.

Mayor Ruta and residents say they appreciate how quickly the problem was resolved and that there’s no lasting health concerns to the citizens.

“Our residents and our tenants are safe with that building. The issue was rectified in that moment and has been set up so that it’s not going to happen again. We immediately had a crew out there cleaning up and making sure that everything was ready for the public immediately,” continued Ruda.

“It’s great that things are being taken seriously and the situation is being remedied fairly quickly,” concluded Williams.

Currently no citations are being filed against the landlord. They have since rectified the issue by bringing in their own plumbing service, working in conjunction with code enforcement and Lancaster DPW.

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Dillon Morello is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has been part of the News 4 team since September of 2023. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.