Syracuse crossing fingers about summer water supply

Friday , March 14, 2014 - 2:41 PM

Lynn Arave, Standard-Examiner Correspondent

SYRACUSE — City officials are hoping this water year isn’t another drought season.

That’s because the sparse water supply in last year’s dry summer meant that the northeast portion of Syracuse suffered with unusually low water pressure.

Robert Whiteley, Syracuse public works director, said the city’s water system is gravity-powered and the highest elevation area of town — the northeast section — tends to have the lowest water pressure in any circumstances.

“Pressure is based on elevation,” he said.

Whiteley told the City Council that the only way to remedy this shortfall citywide is to raise the city’s water reservoir, and that could easily cost some $3 million. He said simply increasing pressure with pumps for the northeast would mean creating too-high water pressure at the west end of town, the city’s lowest elevation.

He said 30 pounds per square inch of water pressure is about the lowest that a typical sprinkling system in a yard can be built around.

Whiteley said the Public Works Department can help residents determine what water pressure they have at their home. In some cases, residents purchasing and installing a booster pressure system may be the best option for those desiring higher pressure. The booster will not affect their neighbors’ pressure.

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