WOODMERE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Residents on Long Island’s South Shore are lambasting their water company. First for excessive bills, then for rusty water and now for a lack of water pressure, leaving neighborhood fire hydrants vulnerable.
Families in the Five Towns continue to have worries about their water company.READ MORE: Brian Laundrie's Remains Found In Florida Nature Reserve, Officials Say
“We’re having a lot of problems with New York American Water — rate increases, bad pressure, dirty water,” Woodmere homeowner Susan Pugatch told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan on Tuesday.
Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and Woodmere Fire Commissioner Judah Karkowsky opened fire hydrants along Cedar Lane and what they saw was rusty water filled with pieces of corroded pipe, and pressure that is considered inadequate and dangerous.
“We had reached out to the water company and we had let them know that it was affecting what now looks like about a dozen hydrants, where the pressure was actually not sustainable at this point enough to fill the truck, to power the hose lines necessary to fight a fire,” Karkowsky said.
New York American Water officials told Woodmere firefighters that hydrants are currently served by 4-inch mains that were constructed in 1910. They need to be updated, but to save money, work was planned to coincide with future Nassau County road repairs.READ MORE: Man Taken Into Custody After Shooting Just Steps Away From Bronx School
“They’re waiting. The wait is absolutely unacceptable, because not only are you putting homeowners and business owners and visitors to the Five Towns in danger,” but also the volunteer firefighters, themselves, D’Esposito said.
“Terrible, God forbid a fire,” one resident said.
“This is a pretty serious situation,” another said.
“Let them rebuild the pipes,” another said.
Following public outrage, New York American Water is now informing its customers it has decided to expedite the water main replacement project that was originally slated for Woodmere in 2019.
“Obviously, this is work that needs to be done expeditiously,” state Sen. Todd Kaminsky said. “Every day that you are living on a street without a working fire hydrant
is a big problem. But the public outcry and bipartisan effort to let people know that it’s unacceptable, I think was very instrumental here.”
Late Tuesday afternoon New York American Water responded to CBS2’s inquires and said is scheduling a Sept. 12 date. It hopes repairs will begin to restore water pressure to fire hydrants in the community.MORE NEWS: Paterson Youth Football Team Gets $10,000 Gift From New York Giants, Dunkin' Donuts
The vintage water mains located at Linden Street and Oak Street will be the first to be replaced in Woodmere.