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Troy Begins $40M Project To Replace Tomhannock Reservoir Water Main Lines

Troy has launched a multi-year effort to replace critical water transmission lines that connect the city’s Tomhannock Reservoir to the Water Treatment Plant.

Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

The nearly $40 million dollar infrastructure project will ensure daily delivery of over 21 million gallons of clean water from the Tomhannock 6½ miles northeast of the city through the Troy Water plant.

The reservoir serves 135,000 customers in Troy and nine communities across Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties, including Rensselaer, East Greenbush, North Greenbush, Brunswick, Schaghticoke, Poestenkill, Halfmoon, Waterford and Menands.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden says there are always infrastructure needs for a large municipal water and sewer system.

"The difficulty is you often I don't know that until water is coming out of the ground or not going where it's supposed to be going. In terms of the plant, we've made regular investments in the plant over the past 55 years since it opened. And we'll continue doing that. We've got some projects scheduled up there. Now, I don't want to say their routine, but they are things that are proactive steps to maintain the plant and continue its useful life. Water lines that run under our streets, you just never know how long they're gonna last. When I came into office, we lost an important line, but that line itself was over 100 years old. So sometimes lines last 100 years and sometimes they last 10 years. It depends on the subsurface conditions and the amount of traffic that's driving over them, etc."

New pipe for constructing the Tomhannock Water Line.
Credit John Salka / City of Troy
City of Troy
New pipe for constructing the Tomhannock Water Line.

Chris Wheland is Troy's Superintendent of Public Utilities.

"We're keeping our current lines intact, while this construction is going on. This construction’s in a completely different path than where the current mains are. So while under construction, it doesn't do much. It'll be kind of touch and go for a bit when it comes time to tie these mains in because well to take one of our current lines out of service and put one of the new lines in service and switch them over one at a time."

Wheland says the new mains are larger, have 500-year lifespans and are expected to be in full operation some 18 to 24 months from now. He adds residents needn't worry about water bills going sky-high.

"Although is a costly project, we do have a $10 million grant from the state to do this project. And it was based on, it's an intermunicipal grant, so it's based on all of us communities coming together to complete a project. And it's kind of one of those that we're all in this together. Without proper safe clean drinking water, we really don't have a community. So to bring not only Troy but our surrounding communities that we wholesale water to into the future and allow for our kids our grandkids our grandkids kids to rely on a water system that that provides proper drinking water and fire protection. This is a much needed project."

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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