More details released on Forest Ave sewage leak

City of Amsterdam Mayor Michael Villa released a statement this morning that provided some additional details on the nature of the sewer pipe leak in the Forest Avenue area.

On Monday morning July 25, 2016 sanitary waste water leak was discovered near the east bank of the North Chuctanunda Creek, into the creek near Passonno Paints on Forest Avenue. City Engineer Richard Miller arrived on site and discovered a stream of what appears to be sanitary waste water coming from the creek embankment near the remains of an old dam. The Amsterdam Department of Public Works was notified and removed debris and heavy brush from the area in question. Once the debris was cleared a leak could be seen near a location that contained large rocks. It was determined that we would need outside contractors to perform this work and an excavating contractor was brought in immediately and the area adjacent to the dam was excavated.

While that work was being performed, sewer manholes on Forest Avenue were inspected and dye was placed in each one. No breaches in the manholes were noted. (The dye did not appear in the water coming from the leak.) The excavation revealed that the water was coming from around the base of the dam and appears to be following the bedrock.

An additional contractor is being brought in to install a bypass pumping system in the sanitary sewer on Forest Avenue. This will allow us to determine if this is the actual source of the leak. This work will continue over the next several days until the issue is resolved.

It should be noted that so many communities face these very same issues, with aging infrastructure, repairs, and upgrades that cost millions. The City of Amsterdam and this administration has borrowed $5,000,000 (5 million) dollars to upgrade our three pump stations in an effort to alleviate these issues. The engineering study is underway and work will begin in early 2017. It is my belief, and I stated so when I spoke at a NYS Assembly hearing on infrastructure, that the state needs to set up a special fund to address these high cost needs and make funds available especially for small cities that are in financial hardship.