No More Main Breaks for Herkimer?


Boil water advisories have become the norm for the Village of Herkimer but with the help of grant money from The Department of Housing and Urban Development it’s about to make this problem a thing of the past.

If you live in the Village of Herkimer, you’re probably used to hearing about a water main break in the area. But thanks to this grant, that problem is being fixed right now.

“The grant was for $750,000, and I think it was 18 companies put in for pricing and the bids came in,” said Scott Blais, the Water and Sewer Superintendent for the Village of Herkimer.

Barber Corporation of Mexico, New York agreed to take on the task. The goal? Stop the water main breaks in these targeted areas.

“The Westwood Drive and the Ridgewood Drive people up around the upper circle are without water the entire time. And also the college, the 9-1-1 center, and the college maintenance garage,” Blais said.

Blais said this is a chronic problem.

“For the last give or take seven years, we’ve had 20 plus water breaks on that line. That transmission line is a 16-inch cast iron line that feeds the entire village,” Blais said.

And typically, Blais said it’s temporarily fixed with a $5,000 repair.

“We end up cutting a section of the pipe out, and replacing it with, usually it’s about an eight to ten foot piece of pipe. And then repair couplings,” Blais said.

During this time, effected areas are without water for nearly 10 hours. Forced to be put under a boil water advisory. Rebecca Ruffing of Herkimer College said the school has had to shut down on many occasions.

“It is an inconvenience for our students and for our employees when we have to delay classes or close the campus because we don’t have water,” Ruffing said.

But after the $450,000 project?

“Well hopefully this will alleviate most of our water breaks and all our water situations that we’ve had over the last few years have been either directly caused by this or a result of after the fact,” Blais said.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of this month.

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