Addressing aging water infrastructure

Apr 16, 2019

Water systems in Central New York are beyond antiquated.

Roughly a quarter of the Mohawk Valley Water Authority’s water mains were installed more than 100 years ago. And some portions of the system date back as far as the mid-1800s.

“It’s the story of America,” said Richard Goodney, MVWA’s director of engineering, speaking on the region’s water systems.

With approximately 126,000 customers, the MVWA supplies water to customers in 18 municipalities in Oneida and Herkimer counties.

Data provided by MVWA shows that 25 percent of its system’s mains are over a century old. Another 36 percent were installed between 50 to 100 years ago, and 39 percent were installed within the last 50 years.

The village of Ilion has a similarly archaic water system.

A book published for the village’s centennial in 1952 talks about the village overcoming objections to a water system in 1892 and mentions the installation of the village’s third reservoir in 1923. The third reservoir is no longer in use due to inadequate infrastructure.

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