WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The City of Watertown is running out of water.
Early in the morning on October 19, a major water line broke in Watertown. This pipe connects the City’s water treatment plant to its main reservoirs.
Crews worked to find the break for hours and was finally located near the treatment facility, Mayor Jeff Smith said during a press conference later that day.
“We were able to identify about a 12-foot-long piece of pipe that had split,” Mayor Smith explained during the briefing. “[Crews] are currently working on that. This pipe was probably 50 years old.”
Mayor Smith joined New York State Officials for this briefing. This included Lieutenant Governor Anthony Delgado and Division of Homeland Security Commissioner Jackie Bray.
Lt. Gov. Delgado confirmed that New York will supply 32,000 gallons of drinking water from six state regional stockpiles to Watertown.
“We began to mobilize to provide emergency support and make sure that we have the state’s full support here on the ground,” Lt. Gov Delgado expressed.
The State will also send over 256,000 cans of water and 62,496 bottles of water, which will be distributed at three public sites.
“We will be here until this is fully resolved. We will not we will certainly not leave people without water,” Commissioner Bray added.
Support will also be provided by the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum. Garrison Commander Colonel Matthew Meyer spoke at the press conference. The installation shut off its connection to Watertown’s water supply when the break happened and it now relying on its well water.
However, the 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade is set to supply additional drinking and potable water to its neighboring community.
“There’ll be military trucks that go out and we’re in those three sites,” Colonel Meyer said. “If the need does become greater we have the ability to go up to twenty-eight thousand more gallons.”
The military trucks drove onsite Thursday night and are ready for the days to come.
“The trucks […] have the capacity of 2,000 gallons of storage,” CW2 Myiah Gilbert said, who serves as a Liquid Logistics Technician for the 10th Mountain Sustainment Division Brigade. “So we will be providing the retail from them into the local containers or whatever containment that personnel come up to receive the water.”
So it will be all hands on deck for the foreseeable future as the repairs take place.
“We’re hoping by Saturday, Sunday at the latest that the reservoirs and the system is filled,” Mayor Smith confirmed. “And then another two to three days after that where you’ll have to boil water.”
An emergency boil water notice remains in effect in the City. Water distribution sites have been established at the following locations:
- Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 970 Coffeen St, Watertown, NY 13601
- Watertown High School, 1335 Washington St, Watertown, NY 13601
- State Street and Eastern Blvd., Watertown, NY 13601
Only drink bottled or boiled water for at least 72 hours after water has been restored.