Nyack Water Plant Repairs May 2022

Nyack Water Department Incident Report, 5/20/22

Over the last two days, starting around 2:30 AM on Wednesday morning and ending at about 8:00 AM on Friday morning, the Nyack water treatment system faced extraordinary loss of service, coordinated and executed emergency repairs and came back online. About 175 homes in W Nyack were without water for a day, and continue to be under a boil water order, and residents in Central Nyack and Nyack experienced outages, diminished pressure and related issues. 

Nyack Village wishes to thank our partner agencies for extraordinary support during the last two days of disrupted water service. These include:

Veolia (formerly Suez) water - provided absolutely essential backup water supply to Nyack district via interconnections between Veolia (formerly Suez)  and Nyack grids. Also, provided expert guidance, inventory of spare parts, and oversight of certain critical repairs.

  • County Health Dept - provided expert guidance to expedite re-start of plant while maintaining compliance with all health standards for potable water operations..
  • Town of Clarkstown - Supervisor Hoehmann and his staff and the Clarkstown PD provided essential communications support in addressing the needs of West Nyack residents experiencing a 24 hr loss of water and a subsequent boil water order and weak water flow. 
  • 44-Control/County communications agency - provided support in programming robocalls to district residents regarding boil water and conservation.
  • Local fire departments in West Nyack, Central Nyack and Nyack - used mutual aid policies to maintain preparedness during diminished or absent water pressure.
  • Central Nyack Civic Association - aided in spreading information about water conservation and service disruptions, and increasing understanding of water system operations among residents.
  • H2M, Hauser Brothers, GCE and Fletcher Kramer - our engineering and construction contractors who worked throughout the night to make emergency repairs.
  • American Red Cross - provided bottled water and volunteers for water distribution. 

Most importantly, we wish to recognize our staff, members of IBEW Local 363, and our superintendent Tom Lynch, whose collective knowledge and tenacity were evident to all. Staff worked 24 hour shifts, slept on the plant floor, responded to resident concerns, and did not give up until the job was complete. 

Here is a brief review of key elements of this experience:

Nyack Water Plant Temporarily Out of Service, 2:30 AM 5/18/22 - 1:00 PM 5/19/22, and then again from 4:00 PM 5/19/22 until 8:00 AM 5/20/22 

  1. At about 2:30 AM on Wednesday, 5/18, a major transmission water main outside the treatment plant in W Nyack fractured, resulting in loss of service throughout the district, shutdown of the treatment plant, and opening of emergency connections to the Veolia water grid (Veolia owns the Lake DeForest treatment plant and serves the entire county aside from a few local public water systems).
  2. Notifications of all interested agencies took place: fire depts, Rockland County Health Dept., Veolia staff, plus the village’s engineering consultant H2M and its construction contractor GCE. 
  3. While most homes continued to be served by Veolia, the interconnection serving the part of West Nyack in the Nyack Water District did not operate. About 175 homes and businesses were without water from about 3 AM Wednesday morning until this interconnection was fixed at about 2 AM on Thursday, 5/19. 
  4. Excavation and repair of the fractured water main began shortly after discovered and continued through Wednesday night. The repaired pipe revealed a leak, the site was re-excavated on Thursday morning and pipe re-clamped. 
  5. Around 1 pm Thursday the Nyack Treatment plant was re-started to test the repaired pipe section and the repair is holding. The plant has returned to normal operation.
  6. The Veolia interconnections have been closed - the district is no longer using Veolia’s water.
  7. The plant is refilling the reservoir on Dickinson Ave.
  8. During this process the Village worked with County 44-control to issue boil water and water conservation advisories and Clarkstown re-issued similar messages via its reverse 911 system. 
  9. Throughout this incident, strategic planning meetings have taken place involving: Nyack water superintendent, village administrator, Nyack mayor, Town of Clarkstown supervisor, PD and other staff, H2M engineers, County Health Dept, and Fire officials.
  10. A Boil Water Order was issued for about 175 homes in the area of West Nyack that lost water service for 24 hours. The Boil Water Order remains in place for approximately 2-3 days, pending bacterial testing results as overseen by the County Dept of Health. This due to the risk of contamination of pipes from ground water intrusion when the pipes are empty.
  11. From 6-9 pm Wednesday night, Nyack distributed bottled water to affected residents in West Nyack from the parking lot of Plastic Craft on West Nyack Rd. About 80 households were served. The American Red Cross supported this effort with additional water and volunteers.
  12. Plant re-started at noon on Thursday.
  13. Around 4:00 PM the plant went off-line again due to another major water main break near the plant. 
  14. Interconnections with Veolia system at Green St, Rte 303 and on Front St in Nyack were re-established.
  15. Service was below standard or intermittent throughout the district as the reservoirs slowly re-filled and pressure was established via the interconnections.
  16. Fletcher Kramer contractors performed repairs with support from staff, H2M, GCE, Veolia.
  17. At 8:00 AM on Friday morning, the plant was re-started, as teams opened hydrants to bleed air from pipes, and reservoirs continued to recover.
  18. Water quality sampling, with oversight from the Health Dept to insure the system is in compliance with all relevant standards.

The Nyack water system has achieved a return to normalcy. Next steps include:

  • Continuation of the boil water order in West Nyack until the County Health Department ends it.
  • Debriefing with staff and partners on the incident, lessons learned, identification of any changes in policies or procedures needed.
  • Enhancement of notification methods for residents as well as partner agencies is a high priority.
  • Review of ongoing concerns with regard to certain low pressure hydrants in Central Nyack.
  • Continuation of the current $9M water main upgrade project in West Nyack, Central Nyack and Nyack.

Once again, the village would like to express its sincere appreciation for the support of our partners at Veolia, Clarkstown, Rockland County, Fire Departments and the community. Your actions over the last two days enabled our success.

Andy Stewart
Village Administrator