State grant will help New Paltz replace old water mains

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s model for providing state aid to municipalities, likened to the Hunger Games for its competitive element, frustrates local leaders when grant applications are passed over, but also results in something of a dopamine rush when the money does come through. Mayor Tim Rogers announced at the December 18 Village Board meeting that the third time was the charm for $3 million being sought to repair or replace aging water mains in the village. This $5 million project “should help significantly” with the problem of brown water coming out of the tap. That color comes from ancient iron pipes that are corroding, and is also a sign that those pipes are beginning to get clogged like arteries, increasing the pressure needed to force water through, taxing the pumping system and potentially causing leaks. The brown color results from jostling that dislodges the material, which can be caused by routine hydrant flushing, system maintenance or nearby construction. This common problem does not impact water quality, but it does result in concern. Concrete liners were eventually added to iron pipes to address the issue, but modern water mains usually aren’t iron at all.

Rogers identified mains on North Manheim Boulevard; Chestnut, Prospect and Huguenot streets; and a portion of Canaan Road near the village’s water treatment plant as the ones to be replaced. The work will be coordinated with scheduled sewer main replacements to avoid ripping up streets twice, if at all possible. The remaining $2 million to complete the project will be borrowed.

The following day, another $267,320 award was announced. This money will be used “for rehabilitation of deficient sewer laterals on private property in areas of the village suspected of contributing the most to inflow and infiltration,” according to the mayor’s Facebook post on the subject.