Pamelia issues emergency order to stop using fire hydrants

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 4:33 PM EDT
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TOWN OF PAMELIA, New York (WWNY) - Town of Pamelia hydrants are out of order. It’s because the town has seen hundreds of water main breaks in the past couple of years.

As a result, town officials are putting a stop to using hydrants until a solution is found.

“We’ve put in an emergency order to not use the fire hydrants at this time,” said Town Supervisor Scott Allen.

He says the town has seen about 300 water main breaks in the last four years. In the last few weeks, there have been more than a dozen.

“It’s a lot of water main breaks for the town and a lot of cost to the town,” he said.

Allen says the order, sent to local fire departments, will help prevent further water main breaks and keep water flowing to residents and businesses.

“I actually received the letter yesterday, but was notified a week, week-and-a-half ago about the issues with the water main,” said Northpole Fire Chief Chris Hanlin.

He says using the hydrants could make a tough situation much worse.

“We flow so much water out of it if there’s a hole somewhere in it, it’ll collapse the pipe and they’ll have to replace the whole line,” he said.

Chief Hanlin says town of Pamelia residents shouldn’t be concerned about the lack of fire hydrants. He says the Northpole Fire Company typically takes its 2,000-gallon tanker to every call.

“When we respond to a working fire, vehicle fire, structure fire, we usually take our tanker anyway, so it’s really not any different for us. We just carry our water with us as opposed to getting it from the hydrant,” he said.

The town is currently undergoing a $22 million project to replace and add water lines. But the area where some of the breaks have been concentrated isn’t part of that project.

Allen says the town will work to get the hydrants back online, but he doesn’t know when that will be.