Forestville board hears resident’s water problem

FORESTVILLE – A village resident came to the recent Forestville Village Board meeting with a warning about a reportedly dangerous water problem, which he fears may happen to someone else.

Kevin Warner addressed the board about something he noticed weeks prior to the occurrence.

“For three weeks my wife noticed the pipes on our water heater were buckling inward, and the top of the tank was caving in,” he said. “We were going to call a plumber, but on Mother’s Day, all hell broke loose.”

Warner told what happened to him and his wife that day.

“Around 7:30 a.m. we were home and heard a loud woosh. We had water racing all over our back room. All our furniture and rugs were covered in water before we could get the shutoff working,” he said. “Our whole water filter, which isn’t bad, blew off its housing and destroyed the entire unit. After we got control of the situation we contacted Fredonia Heating and Plumbing. They replaced the entire water heater, because it was deemed unsafe. The plumber had never seen a water filter explode or hot water pipes collapse. The water heater was top of the line and should’ve lasted another eight years.”

As to what caused the explosion, that is something Warner is still puzzling over.

“After the cleanup it is very obvious to me that a water pressure valve caused this to happen. My house is not at fault. We all know there has been several valve leaks in the village for the past several weeks,” he said. “I also know there was a pressure build-up in one of the water sheds. I heard the pressure was so intense it blew pipes apart. I am asking the village residents to please check their hot water lines to see if anything like this is happening to them. This is a very dangerous situation. We are just thankful we were home, or I would’ve been replacing walls. I am very upset about what happened to the stuff that got wet. This never should’ve happened. I don’t want anyone else to go through this, so everyone needs to regularly check their lines. The company said this wasn’t tank failure, so I still don’t know exactly what happened.”

Trustee Gary Belote believes this was a very dangerous situation.

“That tank is made out of heavy wall steel. Your pressure line would’ve burst way before that tank. That tank is a pressure vessel, and it makes steam,” he said. “If something happened, and it overfired that is a bomb in your cellar. Something happened to that tank. That tank built a whole bunch of hot water, which turns to steam. Pipes would burst before that could happen.”

The board later approved a resolution for a CDBG Consolidated Funding Application for Stormwater System study.

Mayor Kevin Johnson spoke of the grant being a way to benefit the community.

“The grant will be used to develop the community by providing an economic program, which our little community qualifies for. It will benefit low-income people, provide safe affordable housing, clean water, encourage investment, and enhance the quality of life,” he said. “This study will be $50,000 with the board paying a 5 percent match. They (Clark-Patterson-Lee) would do the stormwater study application for us. They are good and help us out when we need it. They told me we don’t have to use them, but I think we should. The engineer study would be of the whole village; not just road ways, but general drainage, private property erosion by flooding, and would help folks out who live by the creeks.”

The mayor said there are a lot of problems in the village, but this one needs to be taken care of by early June.