Leaks lead to a deluge of Fredonia water issues

Fredonia has a message to property owners with leaky water service pipes: Get them fixed.

Mayor Athanasia Landis said at this week’s Board of Trustees meeting that a recent study by the Leak Detection Services company estimated that the village water system is losing 66 million gallons of water per year. She asked Department of Public Works Superintendent Tony Gugino “to write some letters to owners of service lines.”

Gugino replied, “I want to draft a cover letter (Tuesday) and review it with you and the village attorney (Dan Gard).”

He also mentioned, “One of the more sizable service leaks has hired a licensed plumber to take care of the issue tomorrow.”

Landis wondered if the village should do a new study of leaks after the emergency waterline replacement project on the north end of the village is complete. “I think it would be prudent to do leak detection like this at least every other year,” Gugino said.

The DPW head called leaks in service pipes the “substantial majority” of the leakage, about two-thirds of it. The rest comes from water mains. Gugino expects fixing service pipes to lower the leakage rate, “but if for some reason not, we have issues to consider other than leaks,” such as faulty meters.

Trustee James Lynden wanted to know how the village could get property owners to fix their pipes. Gugino said his letter to them will include the section of village code that makes property owners keep their water service pipes in good condition. Each letter will also include a picture of where the leaks are specifically located, as found by the Leak Detection Services study.