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Fifteen residences without water since Saturday at Northland Estates trailer park

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Fifteen residents who live in the Hillside section of Northland Estates trailer park on Route 11 have been without water since Saturday night, as a maintenance crew has been unable to locate the origin of a waterline leak.

The leak at the 250-unit trailer park just south of Watertown Center that is owned by KDM Development Corp., Pittsford, was expected to be fixed by the end of the day Wednesday, property manager Timothy M. Fahsel said. This was the first time in 30 years that workers have had difficulty locating a water leak, he said, mainly because the frozen ground has been challenging to dig up with machinery. Water was restored Wednesday morning for two of the 17 residences affected at the trailer park, which uses an underground well system.

At noon Wednesday, workers were still operating machinery to find the main break in the waterline. They had located the general area of the leak and were using isolation valves to pinpoint its location. Since the leak was reported Saturday, a work crew has been operating machinery 12 to 16 hours a day to locate its origin, Mr. Fahsel said.

“We’re able to fix leaks right away in the spring and summer, but not when it’s like this during the winter,” he said.

Officials from the state Department of Health and Rural Water Association have visited the site to inspect maintenance work but discovered no unusual deficiencies, Mr. Fahsel said. Water from large underground wells is pumped to a water plant at the site that has a capacity of 40,000 gallons.

The current waterline system was installed about 17 years ago.

Affected residents have been provided a gallon of drinking water daily at the trailer park, which uses an underground well system. Resident Gus A. DeVito, 70, was among those affected. He said he has relied on family members who live in the area for hot showers.

“I haven’t seen anything like this here before,” Mr. DeVito said, adding that he believes the maintenance crew at the park is doing its best to solve the problem. “Workers have been out here for hours every day to try to get the water back online.”

Kathy A. Oakes, who has lived at the park for 23 years, said residents are frustrated that the problem has taken so long to address.

“I think everyone here is surprised that this is taking this long,” said the 59-year-old, who’s doing what she can to cope without water. “But I always keep bottled water on hand for situations like this, and yesterday I went down to my mother’s place and took a shower. I’ve melted snow a couple of times and boiled it to wash dishes.”

An associate from the park owner, KDM Development, declined to comment about the waterline break after making calls to check on the matter.

“We don’t know what’s going on and are not commenting on this,” she said.

It’s not the first time Northland Estates has experienced waterline problems.

In January 1992, the trailer park was cited by the health department for deficiencies in its water system.

A chlorine supply hose was found to be disconnected from the waterline and storage tank that served two sections of the park.

The health department also discovered required chlorine readings were not being properly taken.

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