From the Queens Chronicle:
A bowl and bucket — that is what Sergio Gonzales has been forced to use as a toilet ever since a sewer backup at the Jamaica apartment building where he lives has crippled the water system, filling toilets and tubs with a putrid smelling brown liquid for eight days from Feb. 11 to 18.
“It’s murder. It’s terrible,” Gonzales said of the living conditions. “I have to spray the whole apartment and light incense because the odor is so terrible. I haven’t taken a bath in six days.”
Gonzales, a native of Colombia, has lived in a basement apartment at 88-22 Parsons Blvd. for 37 years and says he has never remembered a sewer backup lasting so long. He has plenty of air fresheners and cologne on hand to try and cover up the smell, but they hardly make a difference.
It is for that reason that he and his dog, a 6-year-old pug named Terminator Max confine themselves to a bedroom and wait for repairs to be made. Gonzales refuses to drink the water out of the kitchen faucet even if it appears to be clean, because he fears getting ill.
In the kitchen he has set aside a bowl and bucket, which he uses as a toilet, emptying the former into the kitchen sink and the later into a garbage bin outside. His real toilet has not functioned for nearly a week. Gonzales said the whole process has been humiliating.