By Lourice Angie
A water main leak in the Village of Greenwood Lake water system was detected on Tues., Nov. 28 by the Greenwood Lake Water Department and was cause for emergency water restrictions throughout the Village. In an effort to inform residents, the Village quickly posted information and a list of water usage suggestions on their Facebook and Village website. All Village residents were encouraged to reduce their water consumption until additional information was procured.
The Village Board held an emergency meeting on Wed., Nov. 29 to officially declare a State of Emergency within the Village and to secure a contractor for the emergency restoration of water throughout the Village.
On Thurs., Nov. 30, the leak was located under about 50 feet of earth where a potential soccer field was built nearly 15 years ago between the water towers and the Lion’s Field. Village of Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer reported that it was not feasible to dig 50 feet down to patch an 80-year-old cast iron water main and announced that a new length of water main would be installed between the water tanks near Elm St. and the ball field, which will run approximately 700 feet.
At this time, work has begun on the restoration of full service to the water system with 1,000 feet of a 12 inch water main on site. Contractors will be working over the next few days to dig a new trench, fuse pipes together and install them. Water restrictions will continue throughout the entire process as the officials cannot isolate the main artery that feeds the Village with water. Once the new main is installed, as a precaution, the Department of Health will require the Village to run testing on the new water main and put a “Boil Water Alert” in place, instructing that all Village residents boil water before consuming.
Mayor Dwyer would like residents to keep in mind that these things happen whenever there is aging infrastructure. The Village has gone through great lengths to replace as much of the water main as possible, replacing nearly 2,000 feet Village-wide over the past six years. It is estimated that the Village would have had to spend $50,000,000 in order to have avoided a situation like this from occurring, a proactively impossible task.
Mayor Dwyer gave this update on Fri., Dec 1 saying, “This is a request to water users to reduce the water you consume in your home. At this time you do not need to boil water. The suggested reductions are as follows: do not use your washing machine unless absolutely necessary; do not use your dishwasher; take quick showers; shut the water off while brushing your teeth; and flush toilets sparingly. Once the new main is fully installed I will send out a robocall when we are on a boil water notice. The boil water notice will be for a period of about 48 hours. I will let everyone know the point at which they must boil water. Now is not that time. Everything is in motion and we just need to continue conserving water as best we can.”
If residents have not registered for emergency alerts, visit https://www.irisdispatch.com/users/enroll/dsp_enroll.cfm. If residents would like to receive the mayor’s weekly blog visit https://greenwoodlake.wordpress.com/.
Dwyer personally thanked everyone for their cooperation and patience while water restrictions are in effect saying, “We are all in it together. I am personally under the same restrictions as all of you. A big thank you goes out to our Water Department, Phil Landru and Van for working through the night on trying to resolve this situation.”
On Mon., Dec. 4, Mayor Dwyer released this statement saying, “This has been a very challenging situation to navigate. The break could not have happened in a worse location. Fortunately we have great people running our Water Department and residents understand that these situations occur periodically. The Village water fund has gone from an operating deficit six years ago to now having a very healthy fund balance. We hope to be able to pay for this fix with minimal impact to the residents and we have been in contact with federal, state and county agencies to seek funding support.”