Niskayuna residents told to boil water after break

Service interrupted Thursday night; cause unknown

January 11, 2013
Updated 9:38 p.m.
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State Department of Environmental Conservation workers survey the damage to Mohawk Road in Niskayuna, after a 20-inch water main broke, sending thousands of gallons of water into a home and onto Rosendale Road late Thursday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
State Department of Environmental Conservation workers survey the damage to Mohawk Road in Niskayuna, after a 20-inch water main broke, sending thousands of gallons of water into a home and onto Rosendale Road late Thursday.

— The entire town of Niskayuna is under a boil water advisory because of a water main break Thursday night at the corner of Mohawk and Rosendale roads.

People should boil their water for three minutes before using it for cooking or drinking.

Town officials started receiving calls shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday from people who did not have water in various parts of Niskayuna, according to town Supervisor Joe Landry. Once water crews pinpointed the source of the break, they shut the water off.

“It’s a 20-inch main, so you have to wait for the water to flow all out of the pipe before you can start digging and repair the leak,” he said.

The water main break was fixed by 1 a.m., and most residents had their water restored — except for those on Mohawk Road, who got water back later in the morning — and the situation was back to normal by 11 a.m., according to Landry.

The house at the corner of Mohawk and Rosendale roads had a flooded basement. The Niskayuna Fire Department responded to the scene, according to Landry.

“They were able to fully pump out the basement after the water was turned off,” he said.

Landry said he is not sure of the cause of the break, but the infrastructure in that part of town is older. The recent freezing followed by thawing temperatures could have shifted the ground and caused a crack in the pipe.

Because the water line was one of the main ones that splits off from the town’s water plant, it covered a wide area of Niskayuna and prompted the boil water notice for the entire town.

Schenectady County spokesman Joe McQueen said the boil water advisory will be in effect at least until Sunday. There is no indication that the water is contaminated, but the advisory must be issued when there is a drop in water pressure.

“The water flowing through the pipes in most instances prevents any bacteria buildup,” he said.

Once the water is not moving quickly through the pipes, there is a chance of contamination, according to McQueen.

“They have to get negative tests back before they can lift the order, and there needs to be 24 hours between each test,” he said.

 

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