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Posted by: Doug K
« on: June 16, 2018, 03:34:19 pm »

I'm not an Erie Canal Trail (ECT) Embankment Inspector, but I can sympathize with how hard their job is. After almost a quarter century of looking,  we've finally found the leak on our own property, all thanks to The Vegetation/Remediation Project started in late 2017 with Phase 1 removal of large vegetation. It allowed us to finally see this leak..looking upwards from the Toe of Slope.

The primary purpose of Canal Walkers (those paid by NYCC) has been to identify potential issues along the ETC, mark them & report location back to the Maintenance Crew for further investigation or repair. They look for standing water, animal burrows & other signs of potential safety issues. We've watched them pass our own property for years, marking where the woodchucks live among all the trees & brush. Most times they could only look about 4' down from the ECT, the rest is too shadowed for a proper inspection.

The video & photos I've included are of a marked, registered Erie Canal leak at Mile marker 278.10. The stake at the top is seen in one photo, and a pond flows northward in the distance. That pond was a project of mine several years back to manage the water issues on our own wet we sank in the ground 5 months of the year. I was told back in the 1990s it was NOT a canal issue, that was changed in 2017 when NY Power Authority took over the Canal Corporation to a marked, active leak.

This is called a managed leak, it's caused by piping, several very old trees rotted on the bank and now the roots are weeping water from the canal through the Embankment and out into the drainage ditch along the bottom of the slope. It is driven by water table & the canal filling cycle. Most times its wet, but this past Spring I saw the leak running and captured the video for the NYCC.

For those who think the message of Unsafe Embankments & 100 year old Dam that sorely needs repair IMMEDIATELY is untrue or some scare tactic used by the Canal Corporation to push their project through all I can say is the threat is real. We also have two other smaller piping issues which are still subterranean but showing signs of more flow... we have wet areas and no rain to account for them, a sure sign of a leak.

Video Link to the Leak