By Adam Schrader
Construction will begin Wednesday on a $575,000 new water main project under Celler Avenue in North New Hyde Park as part of the Water Authority of Western Nassau County’s capital plan.
Merrick Utility Associates, the water authority’s board-approved contractor, will install roughly 2,600 feet of a new 12-inch iron pipe from Station No. 40 on Soma Street to an existing transmission main on Hillside Avenue.
The two Station No. 40 wells currently pump water through 10-inch discharge piping into a smaller 8-inch distribution main on Soma Street.
A notice sent to residents living in North New Hyde Park between Lakeville and New Hyde Park Roads indicates that the work is needed to correct a bottlenecking problem caused by the current setup.
“Pumping stations should pump water directly into a large transmission main which then feeds into smaller distribution mains,” according to the notice. “Station No. 40 is the only station that is not connected to a transmission main.”
Construction will close Celler Avenue and begin at 8 a.m. each day. Work will end at 5 p.m., when the road will reopen for traffic. The entire project should be done in about two months.
When the project is complete, both Station No. 40 wells will be able to be pumped simultaneously – which cannot currently be done.
The new main will provide better water flow, prevent future water discoloration and allow the water authority to move water to other parts of its service territory when needed.
“If both wells can be used, there might be a slight increase in the pressure, but most noticeably will be a lack of discolored water,” Robert Swartz, the water authority’s chief engineer, said.
The crew will lay 200 to 300 feet of new water main each day, Swartz said. The Nassau County Department of Health must inspect the new main after it is placed in the ground but before it is connected to distribution pipes, which will cause a one- or two-week lull in the work, Swartz said.
Merrick Utility Associates will remove construction debris, restore sod and complete temporary and permanent road and sidewalk repairs.
The water authority said it will videotape the job site before construction begins to assure full restoration and the protection of customers’ property.
“Videotaping the streets involved are a good way of making sure the correct claims are put in for any broken sidewalks,” said Bill Cutrone, president of the Lakeville Estates Civic Association. “I hope that the repairs make sure there will be no standing water if it rains.”
Customers may experience service disruptions for no more than eight hours. Water authority employees will notify customers whose water service must be interrupted in advance by placing door hangers at each affected customers’ residence.
Some may also experience temporary changes in water pressure or slight water discoloration. Water discoloration is usually easily cleared by running cold water for five minutes.
In June, the water authority’s Board of Directors approved a 2.5 percent across-the-board rate increase to fund its $18 million 2017-18 budget, which took effect June 1. The budget includes a plan to spend $63 million on capital projects over the next five years.
“I’m sure having the streets ripped up is going to be aggravating to the homeowners,” Cutrone said. “As long as they allow homeowners to park in front of their homes overnight, I think residents will be pleased with this infrastructure improvement.”
Noah Manskar contributed reporting.