Water main ruptures in Niskayuna

Town officials still uncertain of cause after repairing pipe

— Water gushed out of the ground and calls flooded Niskayuna officials due to a water main break that also led to a two-day boil water order for the entire town.

The Schenectady County Department of Environmental Health issued the boil water advisory the morning of Friday, Jan. 11, as a precautionary measure after a 20-inch water main broke on Mohawk Road. There was a loss of pressure throughout portions of the town’s system and the roadway sustained damage, along with at least one homeowner seeing a flooded basement. The boil order was lifted Sunday morning after water tests came back clean.

“It flowed over this person’s yard and created quite the mess,” Niskayuna Water and Sewer Superintendent Richard Pollock said of the flooded home at the corner of Mohawk and Rosendale roads.

The 20-inch pipe is the second largest in the town, with the broken pipe being one of two main pipes coming from the town’s water plant near Lock 7. Pollock said it was larger than the average break. The pipe was around 60 years old.

Town officials as of Tuesday, Jan. 15, were still uncertain what caused the rupture. There was a crack in the pipe running lengthwise.

“I have not found, at least not yet, what I can say triggered this water break,” Pollock said. “There have been other breaks where we have had more data.”

Town Supervisor Joe Landry theorized one cause could be recent freeze and thaw cycles, which can cause problems to infrastructure. These cycles have only grown more problematic as of late.

“What has happens as of the last few years is that you are seeing more freeze-thaw cycles,” Landry said. “The roadways suffer more when you have more freeze-thaw cycles … that is very hard on your infrastructure, whether it is roadways or the below ground infrastructure.”

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