In the second week of March, the City of Newburgh experienced three water breaks on Hampton Place, North St. and Clinton St. 13 water main breaks since the beginning of 2023 have been reported in the city. According to City Chief of Staff Mike Neppl, the city would normally experience 30 to 40 breaks within the first several months.
Within the city, according to information provided by Neppl there are 75 miles of water main ranging from 30” to 2” inch main going as far back to the early mid 1800s. In regards to the recent breaks, no immediate cause was determined. Neppl did clarify that water main breaks can occur due to “ground freeze-thaw action, settlement, impacts with bedrock or boulders, street-level loading damage, undermining from adjacent construction, failure due to age, water hammer shock loads within the water main, and a number of other unique situations”.
With the city undergoing a lead line replacement program, the recent water main breaks were not as a result of the lead line replacement. The lead line replacement program, which is undergoing work over the course of two rounds, has had 95 services replaced at the total cost of $698,015. The funds were a combined total from $543,015 from the New York State Department of Health and $155,000.00 from Senator Larkin for lead line replacement. The second round sees ongoing work with 63 services replaced with the assistance of $1 million from American Rescue Funds.