The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued an alert yesterday that a sewer pipe has ruptured near the Chuctanunda creek in the vicinity of Forest Avenue in Amsterdam. The creek flows southward and empties into the Mohawk River. Mayor Michael Villa said this morning that an outside contractor had been called in to excavate the pipe in order to repair it. According to the DEC, the issue is still ongoing as of this morning.
Villa said that he expects problems with the sewer system will continue until the city can complete a $5 million overhaul to the system, which the common council approved borrowing for earlier this year.
According to Villa, a $55,000 fine which the DEC had recently levied on the city has been rescinded, at least for now. He said the most recent letter from the DEC states that “revised orders will be forthcoming.”
The fine was in response to two discharges earlier in the year and the city’s slow response to a DEC order last year to fix problems with groundwater infiltrating the sewer system lines, causing overflows of sewage into the Mohawk River during rain storms. The most recent overflow occurred earlier this month, when approximately 500,000 gallons of liquid sewage overflowed into the river due to a stuck valve at the west side pump station. The common council approved emergency funds last month to repair the valve, which Villa said he expects to be repaired in August.