Day 4: Troy Water Main Break Impacting Thousands

A massive water main break in Troy is now affecting thousands of people around the region. What first began as a Troy problem quickly sent ripple effects through many surrounding communities that get their water from the Collar City. Geoff Redick, Emily DeFeciani and Barry Wygel report.

Congressman Paul Tonko took a tour of the site of the massive water main break in Troy Wednesday with Mayor Patrick Madden.

The congressman noted that the region's entire infrastructure is thousands, upon thousands of miles of ticking time bombs like this -- all waiting for a critical component to fail.

Both he and the mayor said it is critical that the state and the federal government fund ancient infrastructure replacement in the Northeast – now.

Madden said there is no set timeline for completed repairs. He did mention a hope to finish welding a custom sleeve onto the big pipe by the end of this week. Once that is done, there will be a 48-hour process to slowly re-water the main line, and make sure those welds will hold permanently.

Residents can get bottled water at Peck Hose Fire Department in Waterford.

The fire chief says they received another delivery Wednesday morning -- more than 600 cases of water, and dozens of cars have been stopping by to pick up their share.

The station also has a tanker filled with more than 6,000 gallons of potable water that is recommended for bathing, flushing toilets, and other basic needs.

Waterford Town Supervisor Jack Lawler says 25 homes are still without water, but officials have been closely monitoring the tank they receive from and are hopeful they will be restored later Wednesday evening. 

Lawler says reserve levels are slowly beginning to increase and stabilize but he says things have to be taken hour by hour in this situation. 

"As long as people conserve water and we continue to slowly build our reserves back up, I'm hopeful that we will get past this," Lawler said.

Lawler says volunteers at the fire station on Saratoga Avenue in Waterford will be handing out water until 8 p.m., and may even stay open until later if necessary. He says they'll have water available to residents as long as it's needed.

A popular local business in Halfmoon is doing what it can to stay up and running.

"We're prepared to do this for days until the water main is fixed," said Hoffman's Car Wash CEO Tom Hoffman Jr.

They say the show must go on, and no business has been hurting more than car washes as a result of Troy's water main break.

"To be closed with thousands of unlimited customers is a big inconvenience," Hoffman said.

Getting resourceful, Tom Hoffman directed tanker trucks to come supply one of the busiest Hoffman's Car Wash locations. Two trucks will relay filling and supplying water to the wash.

This fix isn't exactly in the owner's manual. They actually had to pop a hole in the wall to integrate the truck into their system.

"We have never had to do this. We adapted our system to accept water from a tanker truck," Hoffman said.

The water being used is not safe to drink and otherwise used for filling swimming pools, but customers were happy putting it to a more immediate need.

"I just couldn't stand it anymore. I just hope nothing freezes," one customer said.

Time Warner Cable News will have team coverage all day, including a full live show Wednesday night. Geoff Redick and Karen Tararache will host from the pipe repair site, and also include live reporters from other affected communities. That airs live at 6 p.m., with a re-air at 9 p.m.

Spectrum customers get full access
to all our video, including our live stream.