Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

June 14, 2014

Leak source not found

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — City workers haven’t been able to find the source of water that’s been flooding the Lockport Ice Arena & Sports Center work site.

They will try again today, Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said Friday. 

In the meantime, water lines around the work site are being turned off one at a time in an attempt to locate the break. The only nearby building that would be affected by the shut off is Lockport Public Library, McCaffrey said. The library closed at 5 p.m. Friday, after which workers were to shut off that line to minimize the effect on library operations.

”We’ll check it (today) and hopefully find it soon,” McCaffrey said.

This past Wednesday, City Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano, who is also the Lockport Ice Arena president, said the leak has washed away some of the stone at the arena construction site, causing foundation and footer issues. That has already cost the rink $10,000 and put work behind by a week.

Time is of the essence, arena committee members say, because the arena is supposed to open in September; the committee has already struck deals with amateur hockey programs to start using the ice then.

City officials suspect water flow into the work site is due to a break in a Chestnut Street water line. The six-inch diameter, cast iron pipe is buried eight feet below the street. But the city’s 25-year-old correlator, an electronic leak detection device, failed to find the leak in three previous attempts.

That’s why the Common Council voted this week to spend $3,500 for emergency use of a new correlator, with the understanding that $2,000 of the sum will be applied toward its purchase. The correlator costs about $30,000. Repairing and updating the old one would cost about $15,000.

According to McCaffrey, the new correlator already ruled out breaks in the water lines on Market and Charles streets and East Avenue. However, water department employees said the break could be as far away as Genesee Street, a half-mile from the area.

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