Recent water main breaks has Rotterdam looking at upgrades

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Updated: 8/13 11:34 pm

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. – Several water main breaks this summer has the Town of Rotterdam considering updating its infrastructure.

Rotterdam was under a boil water advisory for several days in June after multiple water mains broke in the town. A water system consultant was at the town board meeting Wednesday night and said the town should take action to avoid more costly breaks.

Town officials said the Rotterdam water system was built in the mid-1950s. They said the age of the pipes is beginning to become a major problem. The consultant said increase in traffic as well as air pockets in the lines contributed to the breaks.

The town said it can’t afford to replace the entire system, but the consultant said the recently increased water tax in the town provides enough money to install leak detection equipment and air release valves that could ease the pressure being placed on the pipes.

Town Supervisor Harry Buffardi said the town hasn’t been adequately funding the needed updates in recent years.

“It was not properly funded to do the proper infrastructure repair and maintenance to keep it up,” he said.

“We want to put some air relief valves in,” water consultant Clark Collins said. “We want to put some monitoring on pressures, so if things happen, they will trigger an alarm, pumps will shut down, personnel will be called immediately, and catch it sooner than later. And that’s the big thing.”

The town doesn’t plan on replacing the old pipes, but installing the safe guards could help them identify a break before it becomes a disaster. Collins said the initial updates could be completed without any additional cost to tax payers.

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