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Your Stories: Brown water for months
by Sean Carroll
Clyde, N.Y. -- A handful of neighbors dealing with brown tap water since early February have now been told the problem could persist for another 12-16 weeks.
That news came days ago in the form of a letter from the Village of Clyde. The problem appears to stem from a water line under West Genesee Street (State Route 31) that is more than 120 years old.
David Gould said the water was at its worst in February.
"The water was nasty brown, like canal-water brown," explained Gould.
He showed 13WHAM News a mason jar of tap water with a brownish tint and an obvious build-up of sediment forming at the bottom.
"I've had enough, I've had enough," Gould said. "We have to haul water for drinking and cooking, and when you bathe you have to bathe in hot water because if you turn the cold water on it's real bad."
Another neighbor backed up Gould's account.
Neighbors were informed in a letter from the village dated March 19 that work to replace the water main would begin Monday and probably last 12-16 weeks. Neighbors may also be responsible for replacing their own "lateral" water pipe that brings water from the main into each home.
Every three months, Gould said he pays more than $100 for his water bill. Last week, he paid about $111.
"My taxes are paid; my water and sewer bills are paid. I just want clean water," said Gould. "And I know a couple other neighbors are at their breaking point."
At least four homes on West Genesee Street appear to be impacted the most. Those neighbors plan to attend a village board meeting Wednesday night to voice their concerns and ask that something be done sooner.
Clyde Mayor Jerry Fremouw told 13WHAM News the main water and sewer line that feeds the village was scheduled to be replaced this spring. He said he's worked with the contractor to push up the start date of the project and he hopes the section of water line near the homes experiencing brown water is replaced within the first month.
The entire project, including the sewer line replacement, costs about $2.2 million according to Fremouw. The village was able to secure about $600,000 through a state grant and the village secured a low-interest government loan to finance the project.
Fremouw said he has had the water line flushed a couple of times since receiving the first complaints, and neighbors admitted that has helped a bit.