Earlville addresses village water issues

EARLVILLE – The Village of Earlville has had a problem with their water system for years. Wednesday night, the village held a town hall meeting to discuss the results of an engineering study and the possible solutions to the problems.

Senior Project Engineer Brian J. Skidmore, from the Barton & Loguidice Engineering Firm in Syracuse explained the details of the engineering study. Skidmore pointed out issues with the water system, possible solutions and what the cost would be to village residents.

“We have significant issues with discolored water and a big problem with hydrant flows, especially in the far reaches of the village,” said Skidmore. He explained that both issues are more than likely caused by a build-up of mineral deposits in the pipes that transport the water to the village residents. “Ninety percent of the water mains are the original, unlined, cast iron pipe from 1929,” said Skidmore. He explained that a number of factors had led to the problem of the brown water and poor hydrant flow, including the corrosion of the pipes caused by the addition of the chlorine, mineral deposits from iron and manganese reacting to the chlorine and causing the tuberculation in the pipes. The overall result of these factors has caused the originally four inch four inch pipes to have a diameter of only two to two and a half inches.

According to Skidmore, there are several other issues with the water system. Well heads that were not properly sealed when electrical conduits were terminated have left openings with the potential of allowing animals and insects to enter the water system. The system is equipped with a transfer switch to allow the village to switch from the typical energy source to a generator in the event of a prolonged power outage, but no generator receptacle has yet been found. In addition, Skidmore pointed out problems in the water treatment building and the piping leading from the building to the first house. Skidmore recommended that the treatment building receive a better ventilation system, a containment system, in the event the chlorine tank springs a leak, an additional chlorine pump, to give the system some redundancy, and repairs to piping inside the building to prevent corrosion. He also recommended adding an additional 140 foot piping loop to the system to increase the amount of time it takes for the water to get to the first tap. This allows more time for the chlorine to react to mix with the water and kill bacteria that it may contain.

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