Water was restored Wednesday to the 25 homes in north Waterford that lost water service the day before because of a major water-main break in Troy on Sunday.
Waterford resolved its immediate problem by tapping into a water line over the 126th Street Bridge and later adding supply via a 5-inch fire hose connected to the Cohoes water supply.
Three southern Saratoga County schools were closed for a second day on Wednesday; all three plan to open Thursday.
Waterford and Halfmoon officials continue to urge residents and businesses to conserve water.
After the initial water main ruptured on Sunday, a secondary pipeline connected to Troy over the 126th Street Bridge between Lansingburgh and Waterford was activated. This backup line partially failed — bringing in only a third of the water it was expected to supply.
“Troy is telling us they have no idea why the backup line has failed,” Waterford Supervisor John Lawler said.
That connection is supplying the towns of Waterford and Halfmoon with 13,000 gallons of water per minute, according to Lawler.
To compensate for the backup line’s failure, Waterford is using an above-ground, 5-inch fire hose line that connects to the Cohoes water supply.
Waterford and Halfmoon have relied on Troy’s water supply since PCBs were detected in the Hudson River, the Saratoga County towns' former source of water.
Paul McInerney, supervisor of the Waterford police dispatchers, said the intersection of Saratoga Avenue and Clifton Street as well as the intersection of Grace Street and First Avenue are still closed to traffic because of the fire hose connection. The emergency line is connected to a fire hydrant at Clifton Street and Saratoga Avenue, and is supplying Waterford with 300 to 500 gallons of water per minute, McInerney said.
Halfmoon Supervisor Kevin Tollisen said the water in Halfmoon is safe to drink. In Waterford, however, people are being advised to boil their water before they drink it.
The Halfmoon Highway Department on Route 146 is supplying Halfmoon residents with bottled water while the Peck Hose Fire Department on Saratoga Avenue and the Waterford Rescue squad are supplying bottled water to Waterford residents. Lawler said that as of Wednesday morning, about 2,000 people in Waterford had picked up bottled water.
At least one local hotel is offering reduced rates to anyone affected by the water emergency. The Hampton Inn in Clifton Park has rooms with two queen beds for $89 for those affected by the water main break.
Troy has a team working to fix the water main, and repairs are expected to be completed by Friday at the earliest. Tollisen said he heard the pipe that burst was over 100 years old.
Bill Clark of Troy stopped at Don & Paul’s Coffee Shoppe in Waterford for lunch Wednesday afternoon.
“With all the taxes we pay in Troy, you’d think we would have better infrastructure,” he said.
Don & Paul’s had to shut down its ice and juice machines due to the town’s water emergency. Still, owner Don Bowles said he has no plans to close up shop.
“My business is down about 50 percent right now,” he said. “I’m just going to suck it up and hopefully in a week or so everything will be back to normal. There isn’t a heck of a lot you can do about it.”
Back to school
Mechanicville City School District, Waterford-Halfmoon Union Free School and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Waterford were closed Tuesday and Wednesday. After consulting with town officials, all three schools have announced they will reopen Thursday. The schools are advising students to bring bottled water, and St. Mary’s has asked students to bring bagged lunches, because hot lunches will be unavailable.
St. Mary’s website noted: “If you ordered hot lunch at any time this week, we will provide that same lunch, to those that ordered, at a later date this year. No one will be asked to ‘lose’ the cost of the hot lunch.”
All before- and after-school activities will be held as usual.