New York



Syracuse experienced 372 water main breaks in 2015 – more than one every day – and so far in 2016, nearly two a day. The age of the city’s water pipes, most of which are more than 100 years old and some of which were built in the 19th century, plus the extreme cold the region experienced in the last couple of years combined to cause a record-breaking number of breaks in 2014 and 2015, and the pace is expected to continue. The city’s mayor Stephanie Miner recently said that if the city had an extra billion dollars, she would use it to replace all 550 miles of water mains that continue to burst all year. Replacing those pipes is estimated to cost $726 million.

These water main breaks have proven enormously disruptive. Restaurants and other commercial businesses, offices, and schools have been forced to close, residents have had to boil water before drinking due to contamination, and commuters and other residents have confronted road closures and detours on a regular basis. One break that forced the closure of two city streets affected graduation ceremonies at Fayetteville-Manlius High School in June last year.

Mayor Miner has asked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for State assistance in coming up with money for needed repairs, but no State aid has yet materialized, and both Miner and and U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko have called on the federal government to make more resources available to cities to support water infrastructure. 

Train Disrupted After Burst SoHo Water Pipe Spills 'Thousands of Gallons'

By Trevor Kapp and Aidan Gardiner  on October 10, 2014 7:40am

SOHO — The 1 train was disrupted through lower Manhattan during Friday morning's commute after a Varick Street water main ruptured and spilled "tens of thousands of gallons," officials said.

The 12-inch pipe started flooding the east side of the street about 5:45 a.m. after breaking outside 150 Varick St., near Spring Street, officials said.

"Tens of thousands of gallons of water have flowed [out]," according to FDNY Battalion Chief John Dunne.

Crews were worried that the water might damage a high-pressure

steam line encased in asbestos, Dunne said.

"They were concerned that the cold water might cause that line to blow, which would've been a much more major problem," the chief said.

Trains along the 1 train were briefly suspended but resumed with delays about 8:20 a.m., the MTA said.

A nearby Starbucks was temporarily shut down, but no other buildings lost any water, Dunne said.

The Department of Environmental Protection was able to shut off the water main and stop the water from flowing, but officials had no estimate for when full repairs would be complete.

SYRACUSE, New York — The mayor of Syracuse has told the U.S. Senate public works committee that the city is averaging more than one water main break a day because many of the pipes were installed more than a century ago.The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports ( ) that Mayor Stephanie Miner included the information in written testimony she submitted Thursday to the committee that’s considering the reauthorization of a multi-billion-dollar measure to help maintain and rebuild transportation infrastructure.Miner says Syracuse’s is in the midst of an orded 155 water main breaks so far this year, compared to 354 in all of 2013.The mayor has firsthand knowledge of the problem. In late January, she called in a water main break after spotting water gushing down a street while driving home from her office.