Plans to shut down water in almost half of the village on Thursday will not be happening.
Instead, the village of Whitehall has changed the date for the replacement of a 10-inch water main control valve on Broadway and School Street from Sept. 24 until Monday, Oct. 5, at 10 p.m.
Village Trustee Kenneth Bartholomew said the reason for the change was due to requests made by local business owners, particularly restaurants.
“A bunch of them came to us with a concern,” Bartholomew said. “They were concerned that if the water was shut off on a Thursday, then they would have to be under a boil- water order for most of the weekend and revert to using paper plates and plastics.”
Bartholomew said once the concerns were stated, the village decided to change the date of the replacement.
“We want to make sure that we help them out as much as we can,” said Bartholomew. “We decided to change the date of the replacement to Monday, Oct. 5.”
On Oct. 5, the village will replace the 10-inch water main control valve and will start its work by turning off the water at 10 p.m. The shutoff will include the west side of the village from Saunders Street to the Maplewood Ice Plant, including all of Broadway.
The project is being done in order to improve the village’s ability to manage and control water shutdowns when there are leaks.
The east side of the village will continue to receive water through the tanks in the village.
After the work is completed, the water will be turned back on, but the system will be under a boil-water order for the affected area that went without water.
“It will be an order just like if we had a leak,” said water treatment plant manager Don Williams. “We will have to have two consecutive days of good tests before we can life the order from the Department of Health. As a rule, it will usually last for about three days.”
The shutdown of the water system will be the first since members of the business community met with representative from the DOH in April to talk about ways they could be more prepared for a boil-water order. That meeting was held in light of the major shutdown that affected the village for almost a week in late February.
During that meeting, businesses met with the DOH and worked on ways they would be able to stay open during a water outage or a boil water order, including the option of using paper plates and plastic utensils to cut down on dishwashing, saving any boiled water they may have for the cooking dishes.
According to Bartholomew, restaurant owners said they did not want to have to resort to paper plates or boil-water procedures over the weekend, which is traditionally when the establishments are at their busiest.