Drought conditions cause dozens of water line breaks in Niagara Falls, Cayuga Island leak unfixed for 7 weeks

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — There haven’t been any water restrictions due to the drought in Niagara Falls, but water main breaks in parts of the city are wasting hundreds of gallons of water. Especially on a Cayuga Island street, where neighbors are frustrated that a water line has been leaking for the past 7 weeks.

“This has been reported to the city and to the Mayor and all the Water Board did was come out and mark the curb,” said Ann Louise Carosella, West Rivershore Drive resident.

“We pay more taxes on this island than any place in the city, and I feel that this end of the island is really neglected,” said Bert Donahue, West Rivershore Drive resident.

Residents of West Rivershore Drive say the sight of water bubbling from beneath the ground has grown larger since a water line break was first reported nearly 2 months ago.

“I’m waiting for the road to cave in if they don’t do something about it they’re very slow on repairing these things,” said Roland Nafus, West Rivershore Drive resident.

Niagara Falls Waterboard Executive Director Paul Drof says crews have been working overtime this summer to repair hundreds of water line breaks across the city due to the drought.

“The soil is so dry that the packing or the material that keeps the pipe in place is drawing away allowing the pipes more free play and because of that free play and the age of the infrastructure we’re experiencing many more breaks,” said Drof.

Drof says the break on West Rivershore Drive didn’t disrupt water services to any homes there, and he says the quality and the pressure of water is good. But because there are so many water main breaks, Drof says crews have to prioritize some leaks over others.

“If we find a major leak like yesterday morning on Ontario Street, underlying the road it was causing major disruptions, so our crews were put off their daily schedule and put on to that break,” said Drof.

“I understand that if you have a main water line break and it’s gushing out of the road that’s acceptable but to put this off for 6-8 weeks you know and it has just gotten worse it’s down 5 houses now and it was just a small spot at the beginning,” said Carosella.

The Water Board expects to have the water line break on West Rivershore Drive repaired by the end of the day Friday, or Monday the latest.

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