You can’t live without water. Your body can’t function without water.

You can’t make your coffee or tea in the morning; no shower, no toilet flushing, no water to brush your teeth or swallow medication. Your dog or cat is parched, hospitals can’t operate, fires rage, cooking is tough, cleaning is nearly impossible, restaurants can’t open, pools are reduced to holes in the ground, golf courses are brown and crunchy beneath your feet. And that’s just scratching the surface. That’s a day without water. You really can’t live without it.

That’s why today OCWA–Central New York’s Water Authority–took part in the national event, “Imagine a Day Without Water,” organized by the Value of Water Coalition.

OCWA hosted a press conference at its headquarters in Salina to highlight some of the proactive steps it is taking to keep the water flowing to Central New York, including:

  1. Capital Improvements – Since 2010 alone, OCWA has re-invested over $104 million to refurbish and upgrade its five-county water system.  Among these investments are replacement of hundreds of miles of old water main, complete refurbishment of the Otisco Lake Water Treatment Plant, updating of numerous pump stations, and the addition of secure, covered storage tanks to replace open reservoirs.
  2. Lake Ontario WTP Upgrades – In addition to the capital work that has been recently completed, OCWA is about to undertake the largest single capital improvement project in its history, namely a complete overhaul of its Lake Ontario Water Treatment Plant.  Over the next few years, we intend to make upgrades to the following systems of the plant: a) mechanical systems such as valves, pumps and plumbing, b) the filter underdrain system, c) installation of generators for backup power, d) replacement of two steel storage tanks, e) electrical substation improvements, f) chemical tank and pumping improvements, g) HVAC and electrical system upgrades, and h) building structural and architectural improvements.
  3. Meter Testing Facility – OCWA recently completed construction of a state-of-the-art testing facility for its water meters.  Accurate water meters are critical to allowing the Authority to keep track of the water in its system and permit us to direct water to where it is needed most.
  4. Leak Detection – A critical component of OCWA’s efforts to ensure that our customers never have to imagine a day without water is to identify small leaks before they become major main breaks.  As part of the Imagine a Day Without Water event, our leak detection crew expertly demonstrated how they identify leaks even before they reach the surface. 
  5. Vac Truck – Once a leak is detected, it is important to fix it in a timely manner with the least disruption to our customers as possible.  OCWA’s new vac truck allows our crews to access leaks in tight spaces without the need for major excavation from a backhoe.