South Glens Falls water project forces many to boil water

By Kathleen Moore, originally posted on October 6, 2016


SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Installing much-needed new water pipes in the village has been an exercise in frustration this fall.

Residents in the Charles Street area are on their second boil-water advisory in two weeks. They were able to drink the water only for about a week before being told to boil it again.

The first order was required after contractors broke a water pipe accidentally.

South Glens Falls officials took responsibility for that mistake.

“It wasn’t marked right,” Village Board member Tony Girard said of the water pipe. “We weren’t sure exactly where it was.”

The marking for the pipe was close — but not exactly above the pipe.

“And with bulldozers, you have to be exact,” said Village Board member Pete Lemery.

Since the water was exposed to air, residents had to boil water until it tested as safe.

The contractors had to pay for the repair, along with repairs of several storm drains they broke during their work, even though the items were not on the drawings, said Village Board member Bill Hayes.

“They’re well aware now, anything they break they have to pay for,” he said.

The second break happened when the contractors tried to hook their new water pipes up to existing pipes at the corner of Charles Street and Prospect Street.

The job involves turning off water under street, using a valve, and then hooking up the new pipe.

“Our valve at the end of the street didn’t work,” Hayes said.

It didn’t close all the way, so water began to leak out, said Public Works Superintendent Brian Abare.

“Before we realized how many people were affected, they were cutting it,” he said. “So, five hours later we handed out boil water orders again.”

Girard noted that residents on the corner would have been required to boil their water anyway, after the connection. But the rest of the neighborhood would have been fine if the valve had worked.

“Unfortunately, it ended up being more streets than it needed to be,” he said.

Girard lives there and has been boiling his water. He’s just as frustrated as everyone else, he said.

The contractors are continuing to hook up water pipes next week. Board members are hoping the rest of the underground valves work.

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