Mayor Walsh addresses N. Beech St. water main break

A water main break on N. Beech Street left neighbors without water for hours Wednesday.

Mayor Ben Walsh says it is a balancing act, trying to address frequent water main breaks while also working on a long-term solution to the city's aging infrastructure.

The latest water main break was Wednesday on North Beech Street. It left neighbors without water for the day and even caused flooding in some homes.

Water main breaks have been an ongoing problem for years, and Walsh knows there is no quick fix. The city is using data to help them be proactive in preventing future breaks.

"We know where our pipes are. We know what the ages of the pipes are. So we can do a better job of anticipating which ones are most likely to break," Walsh said.

To help crews find vulnerable waterlines, the city is using sensors to help them tell if there is a leaking pipe that needs to be fixed. Walsh says Department of Public Works crews are also checking pipes even if they are addressing an unrelated issue.

"That we are fixing everything while we are in there. So we don't line a sewer pipe, and then the next year we have a water main break in the same area that we just dug up."

But Walsh says long-term fixes will cost money, saying it would be impossible for Syracuse taxpayers to shoulder all of the cost.

"We need the help from our state and federal partners. In some cases, we are getting it but, we are going to need more if we want to do it right."

Walsh says he has been actively seeking federal and state funding, but it has been challenging.

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