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New valves placed in city water system

The Dunkirk Department of Public Works has installed isolation valves in a water main that broke Aug. 31, to stop future breaks from fouling up the entire system.

A cast iron main on Lake Shore Drive that is more than a century old ruptured, cutting off water to much of the city for the day. There was a boil-water notice up until Sept. 4 after service was restored.

DPW Director Randy Woodbury told the OBSERVER the “cast iron main is still quite good but needs these new valves for future quick isolation needs.”

In a separate press release sent by Woodbury, he explained Mayor Wilfred Rosas and the Common Council’s Finance Committee “authorized infrastructure stimulus funds to be used to create an isolation system along the (Lake Shore Drive) main line so that any possible future damage to this important and still quite reliable line can be quickly isolated to not drain the city water system as happened (Aug. 31).”

In the release, Woodbury called the August leak “the first such event in the memory of all, including retirees, who have helped maintain the city system for many decades.”

OBSERVER Photos by M.J. Stafford Contractors pave over a hole in Lake Shore Drive Monday. The cut was made in order to repair an Aug. 31 water main break in the area, at left.

Two isolation valves were installed on the line last week. Woodbury said two pavement repairs were done Thursday and the other two were set to get finished Monday. The pavement was ripped up to repair the main.

“Dunkirk was able to make high-quality water throughout the interruption but unable to rapidly refill the new 2 million gallon elevated tank on Willowbrook Avenue because the break was in an obsolete double bend fitting that could not accept a usually quick repair clamp,” he said. The city did manage to isolate that tank on Aug. 31 so the Fourth Ward’s water service was not interrupted.

The press release stated that Rosas and Woodbury “thank all the highly skilled city crews for helping to restore water as quickly as they were able. Thanks also to the contractors who came in with large specialized equipment to assist and to install the first of several isolation valves on this arterial line that contains more than 12 tons of water pressure at bends and fittings along its route between the filter plant, the pump stations and the elevated tanks.”

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