The flash-flooding that took place on Aug. 9, 2009, in the village of Gowanda, N.Y., caused the tributaries of Cattaraugus Creek, Point Peter Brook and Thatcher Brook to flood much of the village, damaging about 400 homes and putting the village water supply out of operation. A boil water notice was issued. The storm rendered the Point Peter Brook reservoir source inoperable as a water source and the raw water pump station inoperable due to flooding and debris deposition.
“Much of the village was flooded, eroded; there were homes destroyed; there were roads washed out,” said Jeffrey Telecky, project manager with Wendel Cos. “Their water system was put of service. Their reservoir was filled with sediment. It was, frankly, a big mess.”A backup well supply that had not been in service for 15 years had to be put in service to provide water to the village system. The project goals were to take the necessary steps to provide safe drinking water to the residents, provide necessary fire flows, end the boil order, provide two high-quality and operating sources of water, and get the Point Peter Brook Reservoir supply source back fully operational and back in service.“Ultimately what they ended up doing was rehabbing the emergency well and providing that water to their water treatment plant and treating it so that eventually the boil order came off. There were a number of long-term things that needed to be done mostly related to rehabbing their primary water source, which included getting all of the debris out of the Point Peter Brooke reservoir, rehabbing the pump station that pumps the water from there to the water treatment plant and a bunch of ancillary rehabilitation related to that,” Telecky said. To date the village has completed removal of 14,000 cu yd of sediment debris from the reservoir, rehabilitated the pump station and the reservoir is back in operation as the primary potable source of water for the village. There is an ongoing project for additional work upstream of the reservoir, including additional debris removal, Allen Spring flood damage repair, construction of a reservoir forebay and other related work to ensure the entire watershed supply source will be a safe supply for years to come.