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Recurrent water main breaks in the Town of Evans frustrate residents

Posted at 5:18 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 17:18:32-04

EVANS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Some residents in the Town of Evans said their yards have turned into lakes due to water main breaks.

And it appears this has been an issue for years.

Mary Haggerty has lived in her home in Evans for nine years.

"And we've had probably 68 water main breaks," she said. She adds that it's happened twice this month.

"Sunday the third I woke up to no water, and come to find out we didn't have any water until 6 p.m. Sunday from one o'clock in the morning," said Haggerty. "And now here we are on the 12th and I go another water main break."

She said the crews working on her driveway Tuesday morning told her a water tunnel runs under her driveway and they'll need to come back and fix it, or the driveway could collapse.

She said her yard is flooded.

"It's been a total lake. I can't let my dogs out 'cause they would probably drown," said Haggerty.

Water main breaks not only affect her house, they affect several other houses down the road.

So who's responsible for all of this?

We reached out to the Evans Town Supervisor, but were told she is in Albany and couldn't be reached.

But 7 Eyewitness News has learned the town has a lease management agreement with the Erie County Water Authority.

The water authority provides the water and responds to repairs, but the town is responsible for the improvement and replacement of the system.

“The Town of Evans is a Lease Managed customer of ECWA. Under this type of contractual agreement, the ECWA is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the water system and the municipal customer (Town of Evans) is responsible for the improvement and replacement of any and all system assets and infrastructure, such as water mains, hydrants and valves.”
Erie County Water Authority

Haggerty said this headache happens throughout the year, not just in the winter. And she's paying a hefty price.

"The water bill is between $150 to $200 a quarter, so I'm paying almost a thousand dollars a year for water," she said.

She said the water lines need to be fixed to resolve the problem once and for all.