Massena officials working to repair 'pretty significant leak' in village water main

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Jul. 4—MASSENA — Village officials are working to address what Department of Public Works Superintendent Marty G. Miller called a "pretty significant leak" in a water main that crosses the Raquette River near Springs Park.

Mr. Miller told trustees that the line is losing 60,000 to 100,000 gallons of water because of the leak.

Until the leak is fixed, he said, the DPW is running a temporary line to feed water to residents on the south side of the bridge.

Divers were on the scene to try for a quick repair of the line, but Mr. Miller said he has also reached out to the state Department of Transportation for guidance. The bridge on South Main Street is located on a state-owned road.

"Knowing the expense of trying to do another bore in this location, I reached out to NYSDOT to see if it was possible to entertain the thought of hanging a new line on the bridge where the village has an abandoned 10-inch line there now. I emailed the Region 7 resident engineer of the NYSDOT and informed him of the situation," he said.

Mr. Miller said he was told to write a letter, which would be forwarded to the Department of Transportation's engineers for review and comment.

"I was pretty warm and fuzzy when he didn't say no," he said. "It's probably going to take a while. If we stay on them, once I know what channels it's gone to, I can keep pestering them."

If approved by the DOT, reviving the unused line would be "a huge savings on the replacement costs of the water main," Mr. Miller said.

Trustee Francis J. Carvel said this isn't the first time they've experienced issues with that water line.

"That pipe has failed numerous times. The line underneath the river has failed so many times," he said.

He said it failed around 1968 or 1969 because it was never insulated and then failed again about 10 years ago.

"I was on the board at the time," Mr. Carvel said. "I recommended at the time that somebody come and fix that line or replace it because of the emergency it created with fire protection on the south side of the river."

But he said they were told the state would not allow them to fix that line, and they would have to bore underneath the river, a process that took a year and a half and added to the cost of repair.

"It could have been done in no time at all," Mr. Carvel said.

With the current leak, Mayor Gregory M. Paquin told Mr. Miller to draft a letter to the DOT that he would sign. Then it would be a matter of waiting for the state's decision on how to proceed.