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Boil Water Advisory in effect for East Utica following water main break

By DON SHIPMAN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Many residents on the city of Utica's east side woke up Monday morning to no water following a large water main break.

While authorities expect the water to return by Noon, they do say residents will need to boil the water over the next few days.

It was a very busy overnight and early morning for the crews from the Mohawk Valley Water Authority as they worked to repair the main.

"It's a 24 hour operation and we have no control over when these things happen," said Patrick Becher, Executive Director of the Water Authority.

The "things" he's referring to is the massive water main break. A huge pipe burst shortly before 2 a.m. on Monday, forcing water officials to shut off service to hundreds of homes along Broad and Bacon Streets in East Utica, with dry conditions taking the blame.

"As the soil starts to contract a little bit under the dry conditions, there's a little bit of movement and sometimes these old mains just shift a little bit and it's enough to blow it out like that," Becher said.

Adding to the problem was the age of the pipe, estimated to be more than 100 years old. It's not alone, as many of the pipelines in the city are just as old.

"About a third of our mains are 100 years old," Becher said. "Another third between 75 and 100 years old."

Becher says the City of Utica isn't unlike other northeast cities, as many of them have aging infrastructures too.

"It's a large problem, it's a large re-investment," Becher said. "We do everything we can to find that right balance between what's affordable in a restructure and what we can replace every year."

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