Keeping up with water main breaks

Now that the temperature is dropping well below zero, we’re starting to see an increase in water main breaks.

Posted: Jan 2, 2018 6:06 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2018 6:18 PM

"The winter with the frost line going down is really wreaking havoc on the system."

Mohawk Valley Water Authority’s Executive Director Pat Becher has had 22 water main breaks over the last 2 weeks. They’ve been spending money on the water storage and pumping ability, and now the focus is on fixing a system that’s aging.

"We’re really going to begin focusing on water main replacements over the next bunch of years, and a lot of that is determined by our budget, and then we spend that as carefully as we can- targeting it to the areas where we know we have problems."

Mohawk Valley Water Authority Foreman Gary Fischer knows where those problelms are.
"Right when you get done with a break another one comes in. It doesn’t stop."

Gary Fischer and his crew work on keeping the water flowing in the coldest conditions, but it doesn’t come without pain.

"Wet, numb, can’t feel em’, stinging. Get in the truck, put em’ by the heater, try to keep em’ warm, then just go back at it, go back warm em’ up, just keep going after it."

Patrick Becher knows he can rely on his crew no matter what the conditions.
"Our crews out in the field are top notch. They can fix a water main break as fast as anybody, and our maintenance section is really… they’re the unsung heroes I think in this community."  "This is winter and we’re always prepared to deal with it. 2 or 3 winters ago we were getting 5 or 6 water main breaks a day. Hopefully we won’t see a repeat of that, but if it stays this cold for that long, it could very well happen."

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