BY MATTHEW LYSIAK
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Tuesday, February 5th 2008, 4:00 AM
The city emptied its sock drawer and now the whole neighborhood stinks.
Bay Ridge residents - coping with a stomach-churning smell wafting from the site of a former sewer pipe project - are telling the city to take out its dirty laundry.
The stink has been hovering over a stretch of Fort Hamilton Parkway between Marine Ave. and 99th St.
The city responded by tossing nylon socks filled with pine-scented deodorizer into the catch basin.
But outraged locals said the scent of raw sewage is now worse than ever.
"The city's smelly socks obviously aren't working, and that situation is now beyond the point of unbearable," said Kadmel Choutie, 67, whose Fort Hamilton Parkway house sits directly in front of one of the wafting grates. "Our entire block is repulsed and everyone wants to know what is taking so long."
The odor first cropped up in the summer of 2006, after the completion of a $6.9 million city project to combine the underground sewer lines there, residents say.
A Daily News story spurred the city to toss a few more socks into the sewage, much to the chagrin of local officials.
"Whatever they are doing down there isn't working," said Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann. "These people have waited long enough. I mean that smell is just gag-inducing."
Residents are nauseated - and confused.
"I can't figure out what the city is doing over here," said Patrick Walsh, 80, who has lived on the odorous street for 40 years. "They keep telling us that the smell is going to be getting better, but then it just keeps getting worse."
Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Michael Saucier said the socks, which come in pine, cinnamon, vanilla and orange scents, were never intended to be a permanent fix, but just a stopgap until the agency can get to the root of the stench.
"I understand that this is a strong smell and I wish I had answers," said Saucier. "No one thinks the socks are the solution. They are just a temporary fix until we find the source of this odor."
Finding the source of a stench is always a matter of trial and error and the department is doing everything it can to sniff it out, according to Saucier.
"It is unusual that this much time has passed without us finding the source," he said.
"Believe me that we sympathize with these residents and are doing everything in our power to take care of this situation."
Jason Wilde, 30, who bought his condo a year before the stench arrived, said the odor has given him a case of buyer's remorse.
"I'm embarrassed to have people over to my house because they think I live in a sewer," said Wilde.
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