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Sewer line from federal prison unclogged

September 3, 2019
By KEVIN SHEA - For the News (kshea@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Lake Placid News

RAY BROOK - A struggle with the main sewer line to the Federal Correctional Institute at Ray Brook caused disruptions last week but has since been handled.

Fixing it, however, resulted in a burst line on Saranac Lake's Pine Street beside the Saranac River.

The clog was first experienced last Tuesday, Aug. 27, according to Douglas Doty, the prison's public information officer. According to Doty, the prison faced interruptions with its main sewer line that leads to Saranac Lake's sewage treatment plant. Sewage was not backed up into the prison, but pumping of the sewage was impacted. Doty wrote in an email to the Enterprise that septic pumping trucks were placed at the facility to manage outgoing sewage.

Meanwhile, life at the prison changed to fit the problem, according to Doty. Water-use restrictions were implemented, and inmates and staff were provided portable toilets as well as bottled water. Inmates' showers were also put on a controlled schedule, Doty said.

To fix the clogged line, the prison used its staff and hired contractors. Doty said he did not have permission yet from the contractors to name who was hired. Work was done near the sewer lines in Triangle Park on Pine Street, and near the prison, he said.

According to Saranac Lake village Manager John Sweeney, the sewer line is owned by the federal prison.

Dustin Martin, Saranac Lake Department of Public Works superintendent, said the village helped with closing off the street and placing barricades, and that most of the work was done by the prison and its contractors.

It was eventually discovered that there was an obstruction in the sewer line almost a mile from the prison. It was cleared on Sunday, but the return to normal operating pressures caused a rupture in the sewer lines in Triangle Park on Pine Street, causing a leak, according to Doty.

The pumps and main sewer lines were shut down within minutes, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Saranac DPW were both contacted immediately. Doty wrote that cleanup procedures were immediately implemented and that due to the damage to the pipe, a temporary bypass has been installed until the pipe is repaired. Martin announced on Tuesday that Pine Street - between Bloomingdale Avenue and Main Street including the intersection of Stevenson Lane - would be closed until the repairs are done.

 
 
 

 

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