Massive water leak draining Phoenicia

By Jay Braman Jr.
There is a massive leak somewhere in the Phoenicia water system and so far no one has been able to find it.

That was the word from Alfred Peavy Monday night, when he addressed the Shandaken Town Board on the matter.

Peavy, the chairman of the Phoenicia Water Board, said they are bringing in help today, Wednesday, Aug. 3 to locate the problem.

And help could not come a moment too soon.

“We’re working on trying to figure out where the missing water is going,” Peavy said. “We’re apparently losing 60 percent of what we pump.”

Phoenicia, which uses between 160,000 and 180,000 per day, has miles of piping that not only services the hamlet’s business district but over 250 users. The system stretches up Route 214 past the Phoenicia Elementary School, runs along Route 28 west of the hamlet to service the area at the entrance to Woodland Valley and then loops down High Street and back to the business district.
Richard Winters from the New York Rural Water Association is expected to bring equipment and expertise to the hamlet to try and locate the leak today.

In the meantime, users are asked to exercise water conservation measures.
In other news, Shandaken Supervisor Robert Stanley said that crews and equipment would begin dredging the Stony Clove Stream this month.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a permit to the Town of Shandaken, which had applied for permission to dredge the Stony Clove Creek in December after two severe floods last fall caused the creek to overflow its banks and run straight down Main Street, causing thousands of dollars of damage to public and private property.

According to Stanley, the permit issued allows the town to do the project that had been planned, despite complaints from DEC earlier this year when that agency announced that it would not grant an emergency permit, instead requesting more information, and thought, be given by the town before it would take any request seriously.

Local officials wanted the emergency permit so they could get the work done last winter. The fear was a third, even a fourth flood would come during the spring thaw and they wanted to do something to protect Main Street.

The permit allows the town to dredge almost 700 feet of the Stony Clove from the Route 214 bridge upstream to approximately where the Phoenicia Firehouse is located.