Crews working to fix a sewer line on Forest Avenue believed to be leaking into the Chuctanunda creek said Saturday that a bypass operation necessary to repair the line has been successful.
“The bypass is fully working right now,” said Marc Pollard of Pollard Excavating. “It was working the other day.”
Pollard explained that when the bypass was first installed on Friday, the flow of waste water into the creek temporarily increased due to the pumping operation, prompting the crew to move the bypass further up the road. Workers are now examining the stretch of sewer line with a camera.
“We’ve found some problems already that will be addressed, the [City Engineer is] going to see this.” said Pollard. “They’re looking at the video cameras as we speak. We’re winning on it right now.”
“The next step is digging to repairs…which will be Monday,” said Pollard.
However, city officials have yet to respond to calls over the weekend to confirm that the flow of wastewater into the creek has stopped.
An outflow of waste water from an embankment along the creek was discovered earlier in the week at the base of an old dam. Two different contractors were hired to excavate the area around leak, and to locate the source.
New York State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday asking for emergency funds to help with the repairs. According to a press release issued by Santabarbara’s office, a short-term fix for the leak may cost $100,000, with a long-term fix costing “several hundred-thousand dollars more.”
“This crisis is a public safety concern that must be taken very seriously. It poses a threat to people’s health as well as their properties. I have personally visited the site with local officials to monitor the situation and ongoing work to make emergency repairs. I will continue to have direct communication with the Mayor and the City Engineer and will keep monitoring the progress to ensure the immediate concern is addressed as soon as possible, and also ensure that a long-term solution is put in place.”
The city is currently in the planning stages for a large $5 million project to upgrade the city’s pump stations and sewer lines, but that project is not expected to be complete until next year.