(PLATTSBURGH, NY - Wednesday August 24th, 2022) - Work on replacing the asbestos cement water distribution system (AC pipe) in the neighborhood of Lake Country Village in the City of Plattsburgh has been well underway since July 6th 2022. As of Monday August 16th, approximately 13,800 linear feet of new DR-11 pipe has been installed at a rate of around 475 feet per day. The main line pipe installation portion of the project is 70% complete. Crews have also started with the installation of new service lines for individual buildings.
On May 14th 2022 the former Air Force base property within the City of Plattsburgh experienced a catastrophic failure of the very aged asbestos cement water distribution system.
On that day, the City experienced twelve water main breaks over the course of twenty-four hours that impacted upwards of 450 households (roughly 2000 residents). For several days following, these families were on boil water notices and several remained on emergency water until their service could be fully restored. At the time of failure residents were able to obtain water, but the system was in such a fragile state, that the City was unable to restore it to its full capacity for fear of the system collapsing again.
“This is the second time in 6 years this system had a complete failure. In 2016 this system experienced 19 water main breaks and this time around it was 12. Water security is integral to the stability of our region and city. Addressing this issue needed to be raised to a level of extreme priority and addressed in a way that provided a permanent fix,” says Mayor Rosenquest.
Work on replacing asbestos water mains began on Wednesday July 6th, 2022. Over the twenty nine day period of the project, approximately 13,800 linear feet of new DR-11 pipe has been installed at a rate of around 475 feet per day. Currently there are five crews working on different aspects of the job. Two crews are dedicated to cutting the trench, two crews are in charge of directional drilling and one crew has now started to change over service lines for existing homes. There are approximately 5,000 linear feet of asbestos water main left to replace.
As of Monday, August 16th, $5.8 million of the $10 million allocated for the project has been signed in purchase orders. The total project cost is estimated to fall between $6-8 million total. Funding for this project was allocated as bonding from the Water/Sewer funds.
“Because this is a water distribution project, the debt from bonded funds is shared by all users of our system - we all pay for these improvements,” says Rosenquest. “It’s critical to note that this will not increase taxes nor will it impact the General Fund.”
To offset project costs, the City is pursuing two major grants: the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding as well as a reallocation of Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA) funding. It's anticipated that funding other than bonding this project will cover the majority expense for this project.
Residents of the City of Plattsburgh should continue to check the city’s website for alerts about boil water advisories, and updates about this project. The City will continue to issue press releases as the project progresses.