Water main breaks keeping workers busy

Whitehall Department of Public Works foreman Steve Brock and his team have been busy fixing a couple of waterline breaks within the village over the past two weeks. With one break near the intersection of Poultney Street and Pauline Street as well as out at Buckley Road, the department has been able to complete quick repairs for village residents.

“They were all quick repairs luckily. We just had to do some wrap-ups of pipes,” he said.

The Village of Whitehall has become notorious for water main breaks, and it is often seen during the summer months. As summer comes to an end, the repairs will be monitored as needed. Brock said that the department hasn’t seen as much of an effect on equipment costs compared with other departments, such as highway.

“I have the equipment, the only thing I might have problems with is or it’s hard to come across is proper fittings and pipes we need because of the cost and wait time for it to be delivered,” he said.

“It’s also the wait time for brass fittings.”

Depending on the severity and size of the break, it can range from just a few hours to repair or longer, according to Brock.

“It varies for every situation, and we’ve seen almost 10 breaks in the village so far this year,” he said.

He said that because of the hot temperature in the summer, the soil will rise in heat and cause deterioration among the pipes. Because the village pipes are cast iron, the warmed solid eats through the pipes.

“Our lines are probably about 100-years-old. We’re trying to swap what we can, and we’re trying to maintain and buy plastic or PVC pipes to put in the ground for now,” he said.

If community members spot a water main break in the village, they should call to report the issue tp the Public Works Department at 518-499-1575 or contact Whitehall Police Department.

“If it was up to me, we’d be replacing every line in the Village of Whitehall if we had the money to do it.”