NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – A contractor has been picked to fix the water main break on 47th St. in Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is one of the places dealing with low water pressure. On some of the floors, patients are having trouble flushing toilets!
It’s the fifth day of low water pressure in the hospital, according to administrators, who are getting fed up waiting for a fix.
“I feel like an ocean liner out at sea with a water shortage,” said hospital president and CEO Joe Ruffolo. “Obviously you can sense frustration that not only I’m feeling, but the 1,200 people that work here.”
It’s been an issue since a 36-inch water main break occurred late Friday night. As part of the solution, Ruffolo has instituted what he calls a “water brigade”.
“They’re carrying buckets of water to various areas that were negatively impacted so that we have a mechanism in place to flush toilets with pouring water down the toilet bowl,” he said.
In all, Ruffolo says two acute patient care floors, two behavior health patient floors, and two nursing home floors are affected. That covers about 145 patients. JoAnne Pellegrino is part of the team making sure they’re comfortable.
The Chief Nursing Officer has spent the week constantly going from floor to floor checking on her staff.
She has an understanding attitude about it: “Especially in the nursing practice, we’re accustomed to things not going according to plan.”
The hospital brought in a contractor Wednesday to find short term solutions, while they’re hoping the Niagara Falls Water Board can provide a permanent fix soon.
“I would have hoped there would have been an emergency disaster plan that could have been activated sooner,” said Ruffolo.
The Niagara Falls Water Board announced Wednesday evening that a meeting to officially award the $292,000 emergency bid to Concrete Applied Technologies Corporation (CATCO) will be held Thursday morning. CATCO was the lowest bidder for the project.
The necessary work to repair the 36-inch concrete transmission line will require CATCO to transition from the former concrete lines to cast iron lines, as well as replace parts that were over 50 years old and from the original installation, the NFWB said.
No specific timeline has been set for a start date or length of repair on the project.