Village:Leak is a crisis

T he village declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon in response to a burst water main that was releasing thousands of gallons of water beneath Route 22.

Although the leak does not represent a safety hazard, officials declared the emergency so they could bypass the bidding process and immediately hire a contractor to fix the leak.

Standard Northeast, a Rhinebeck-based construction company the village has used on multiple occasions in the past, is expected to complete the work.

The leak was discovered earlier this week on the east side of Route 22, near Neddo Street.

The leak wasn’t instantly noticeable because it was occurring underground and releasing water into a culvert beneath the road. The water was then flowing throughout the culvert into the swamp between the railroad tracks and Route 22.

“It looks like a brook,” said Ken Bartholomew, village trustee.

Bartholomew estimates that 100,000 gallons of water is being released every day. Another estimate had it at 100 gallons per minute. In other words, the leak would approximately fill two 45-gallon drums every minute.

Officials have no idea how long the pipe has been leaking.

Don Williams, head of the Department of Public Works, said it could have occurred recently or been an ongoing problem.

 

Speed counts

The volume of water being lost on a daily basis necessitated the need to forego the bidding process.

“We need to fix this as quickly as we can,” Bartholomew said.

In most circumstances, municipalities are required to seek bids when they need to purchase the services of an outside contractor.

The bidding process typically involves posting what is required of the contractor in local media outlets, and then selecting the most competitive bid that meets those requirements. The process normally takes at least several days, if not longer.

Crews were expected to use directional boring to access the area where the pipe is leaking and will replace the old pipe. The state Department of Transportation didn’t want the road to be cut and dug as part of the repair process, which would have been more expensive and possibly have impeded the flow of traffic.

Bartholomew said he believes the cost to replace the pipe can be included with other funds that will be used later this spring to replace a section of line along Route 22 near the Washington County highway garage.

The village is expected to have Standard Northeast repair two smaller leaks in the area as well.

Officials said the leak shouldn’t interfere with residents’ water usage and there are no immediate plans to issue a boil water notice.

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