NIAGARA FALLS, NY -An independent contractor has taken on the task of working to restore water service to numerous houses in the Lasalle-area neighborhood of Niagara Falls.
Viewers in Niagara Falls got in touch with us through the 2 On Your Side Tipline Saturday morning after some of them have spent the better part of a week without water.
They told us there's a major plumbing problem on 72nd Street, and residents received letters from the city water board telling them it's their responsibility to fix the problem.
Mayor Paul Dyster said Monday the contractor was called in after the city noticed a concentration of frozen water pipes on both 72nd and 77th Streets. So far, service has been restored to three homes and it's expected everyone will have water by sometime Tuesday. Until then, the fire station on 72nd Street is offering support to their neighbors, including being able to take a shower if needed.
Some of the neighbors were told by plumbers that the problem couldn't be fixed until the frozen ground thaws … possibly as late as April. Some have paid up to $900 to plumbers and still the problem is not fixed.
"The water line running from your house to the main in the street does belong to you as a homeowner," said Dyster. "That was the right thing for people to do, as long as they thought it was a problem that just affected them or their next-door neighbor." However, he continued, "we've got a larger issue here. I would ask anybody to save their receipts in case they could be reimbursed later." However, the mayor stopped short of guaranteeing compensation, saying it's premature until the investigation into the exact cause of the problem has been completed.
He says the cold is causing freezing water lines and that the city is treating the situation as a weather-related emergency.