Millions of state dollars will help ease water woes

Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 5:09 PM EST
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TOWN OF WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Millions of dollars will go to two Jefferson County water projects, and for one community, it will likely mean an end to its water woes.

Jugs of water sit in Merredith Lehman’s bathroom. It’s a precaution.

A water main break in January left her and other residents of Northland Estates on Route 11 in the town of Watertown without water for more than a week.

“It was very trying. We had to get water from friends, neighbors - not our neighbors, friends outside of the park,” said Lehman.

But $5 million in state money will help the town cover half of the $10 million project that’ll extend water pipes to the park.

“To think how wonderful it would be to not have broken pipelines. To not have to worry about going without water,” said Lehman.

The villages of Carthage and West Carthage are also planning a multi-million-dollar water project. It was awarded $5 million, too.

West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto says part of the project replacing the twin village’s two water tanks.

“The tanks in the village of Carthage need to be repainted every 15 to 20 years at the cost of, now over a half-a-million dollars. To move forward with the replacement of those with some new options that are long-term better maintenance,” he said.

He says it’ll also upgrade the village’s filtration and distribution system. Part of that will help clean up the low, but not dangerous levels of contaminants in the water.

“It will increase the water pressure. It will cut down on the number of road repairs and water breaks in the system which will add to the cost,” said Burto.

The twin villages’ project starts in a few years. The town of Watertown project is expected to begin late next summer.