PLATTSBURGH — A water-main break in the City of Plattsburgh’s North End on Monday morning disrupted service, damaged the road and necessitated a boil-water order.
City of Plattsburgh Public Works Superintendent Mike Brodi said a 12-inch water main broke near the intersection of Margaret Street and Boynton Avenue at around 9:30 a.m.
He said the cause was unknown, and crews were digging up the road to find the source of the problem.
“A lot of these mains are old, and when you get high pressure going through them, things can happen,” he said.
Some of the mains in the city date as far back as 1874, Brodi said.
Work crews had to shut off valves on Margaret Street near Riley Avenue and on Boynton Avenue where it connects with Margaret Street, leaving residents with no water for much of the day.
Water flooded parts of Margaret Street and raised the tarmac several inches, Brodi said.
Service to Georgia-Pacific was not interrupted by the break.
RUN THE TAP
The boil-water order was issued around midday for about 40 properties near the broken main in the North Margaret, Riley and Boynton areas. Notices were hand-delivered to those sites Monday afternoon.
The break riled up water throughout the city, causing it to turn brown in some areas. Water Filtration Plant Manager Willard Todd said those experiencing cloudy water should run the tap until it clears up.
“When you get a break like that on a big line, things get stirred up, and it can affect a lot of the city,” Brodi said Monday afternoon.
“It should clear up soon.”
The boil-water order will be in effect until at least Thursday.
“We have to take samples two days in a row, and we will test (Tuesday) and Wednesday,” Todd said.
Mike Racine, who owns Washland Car Wash at 310 Margaret St. and Washland Laundry-mat at 10 Weed St., along with several apartment units in the neighborhood, quickly became aware of the problem.
“I was lucky because the Laundry-mat feeds off Weed Street and the car wash feeds off Sailly Avenue, so we still had water,” he said.
“But a lot of my tenants have been calling about the water.”
Racine said his businesses have a sophisticated filter system that helped with Monday’s problems.
The main was repaired before the day’s end, but no further information was available Monday night.
ROUSES POINT WATER
A boil-water order remains in place in the Village of Rouses Point, where a water main on Maple Street just north of the Academy Street intersection burst on Friday.
It spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of water from the public system.
“It was an old cast-iron main,” Chief Water Plant Operator Bryon Gelineault said Monday. “It just gave up.”
The 10-inch main feeder sucked down the level of the 1.5 million-gallon water-storage tower from just below about 38 feet from the top to somewhere around 36 feet, he marveled.
Where did it all go?
“The ground is really, really dry,” Gelineault said, chuckling.
And the rest traveled through the storm sewers back where it came from: Lake Champlain.
No flooded basements were reported, he said, and the village crew made short work of replacing the line. The pipe broke at about 11 a.m., and the new one was operational by 2 p.m., said Gelineault, who took the chief-operator post early this summer after Gary Molinski retired.
As with Plattsburgh, the village can’t end its boil-water order until water samples come up clean a couple of days in a row.
“The labs are closed on the weekends,” Gelineault said.
He expected villagers would be able to use water right from the tap again by Wednesday or Thursday.
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.
BOIL THE WATER
According to the Clinton County Health Department, water must be boiled before ingesting.
Bring all water to a rolling boil in a clean container, let it boil for one minute and let it cool before using.
Those affected may use bottled water certified by the New York State Department of Health or water from a state-approved public water system for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and food preparation. For more information, reach the Health Department at 565-4870.