The Village of Cobleskill is the latest community to suffer a major water line break because of the extremely cold weather.
The line along Borst Noble Road split late Sunday afternoon, and although water was flowing normally to the village by noon Monday, a boil-water advisory remains in effect at least through Friday.
The boil-water advisory means people should boil water for three to five minutes before drinking or cooking, and boiling is recommended for washing dishes.
Tests this week will determine if the water is safe, and the boil-water advisory "could be extended [beyond Friday] if tests fail," Water Superintendent Joe Redmond said.
The water is fine for bathing and washing clothes, he said.
"We're just concerned about people ingesting it [before boiling]," Mr. Redmond said.
The break came on a short six-inch line that connected a fire hydrant to the main line on Borst Noble.
"We were running about 1 million gallons a day then, which indicates a good-size break," Mr. Redmond said. "Normally, we're running 600,000 to 700,000 gallons."
To reach the break, workers had to shut down the 12-inch main line, which caused low water pressure in most of the village and in Warnerville late Sunday and early Monday.
However, higher locations in Cobleskill--the upper end of North Street and the hospital area--were without water for a few hours.
Andre Nadeau of E.V. Nadeau & Sons shut off the four-foot-deep line to the hydrant so that the main could be turned on Monday morning.
"We'll replace that hydrant in the spring," Mr. Nadeau said.
Mr. Redmond and his crew opened hydrants in the village later Monday to get fresh water into the lines.
They planned to draw water for tests Tuesday, and two conescutive days of clean tests are required to lift the boil-water advisory, Mr. Redmond said.
"We're going to be aggressively flowing the hydrants to take tests," he said. "But we won't know any results till Thursday afternoon or Friday."
The break affected 1,100 water customers in the village and another 80 in Warnerville, which buys water from Cobleskill.
Warnerville has its own tank and chlorination system, Mr. Redmond said, but he advised residents there to boil water, too.
Sunday's break affected the most people, although there was a larger break in a village water line after Hurricane Sandy, Mr. Redmond said.
"In the 18 years I've been here, with the amount of frozen service lines, frozen meters and frozen pipes, this is the worst I've seen," he said.
One of the toughest issues is keeping up with the calls and service.
"We have four guys in our department," Mr. Redmond said. "We go home to sleep for an hour and then get a call. It's going to be like that all week."
Although the village has had eight to 10 breaks this winter, Cobleskill isn't alone.
Mr. Nadeau said he's worked on at least a half dozen in Sharon Springs, two in Central Bridge and five in Palatine Bridge.
"Last year was about the same," he said, "but this year and last are about the worst I've seen."
Some of the breaks are on old, original lines.
"One on Main Street in Cobleskill was from 1898, and one in Central Bridge was 1895," Mr. Nadeau said.
"They've seen a good life, but it's coming to an end."