RCSD cancels school Wednesday and R-Centers adjust hours due to boil water notice; Police work to identify body found in reservoir

Investigators continue looking into body found in reservoic

Investigators continue looking into body found in reservoic

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester City School has canceled school on Wednesday due to a boil water advisory that went into place after the discovery of a body in the Highland Park Reservoir.

RCSD staff are not expected to report. The city is adjusting the hours of its R-Centers to accommodate for students. All R-Centers will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and two will open even earlier. The Trenton and Pamela Jackson R-Center on North Clinton Avenue will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The David F. Gantt R-Center on North Street will open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Children who visit the R-Centers will get a snack and dinner. The R-Centers will provide bottled water and cover water fountains. You can see a list of R-Centers here.

The boil water advisory applies primarily to the west side of the Genesee River and downtown, since the Highland Park Reservoir servers those areas. The city said the water safety tests on Wednesday continue to come back clear and the boil water advisory is just a precaution. Here is a map of areas under the advisory:

Rochester Police Chief David Smith says the body found in the reservoir on Tuesday morning appears to be an adult man. The families of missing people are anxious to find out whether it’s their loved one.

The discovery happened as Water Bureau employees were making their rounds. The Rochester Police Department’s SCUBA Team removed the body.

The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office is working to identify the person and determine a cause of death. The reservoir is fenced off and police hope camera footage will reveal how the person got in the water.

“We’re currently working through security camera footage from around the reservoir,” said RPD Captain Greg Bello. “Once our SCUBA Team recovers the body of the decreased individual, we’ll be able to determine more information about who that individual is and what are the circumstances leading to their death.”

In the meantime, families like that of Nick Alvarez are wondering whether it’s their loved one. Nick Alvarez lived in this area and went missing in 2020. Loved ones say he left one day and never came home.

“That was a discussion we had on the way here was, whether it’s Nick or not,” said Jonathan Barrett. “We would prefer that it is, obviously, because we would like to have the closure of knowing he is found, we can bury him and start to heal — obviously at the same time you don’t want it to be your family member, because then you have to worry about and think about the worst.”

Anyone with information about Nick Alvarez or the body found in the reservoir should call 911.

The plan is to drain the reservoir, sanitize the area and conduct a number of tests. In the meantime, water in this reservoir will not be used. The city will be using water from two other reservoirs, as backup. They believe it’s okay, but want to be absolutely sure.

“Immediately upon discovery the reservoir was shut off, and bypassed as part of the city’s water distribution system. Law enforcement was alerted and water testing was conducted to confirm the water quality. Our team has shown no issues. The team has conducted additional water testing, and again we have not detected anything,” said Mayor Malik Evans.

Boil Water Advisory

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What to know about the boil water notice

The city says the boil water advisory will remain in place until further out of abundance of caution as the Water Bureau works to drain and clean the reservoir. These neighborhoods, which the Highland Park Reservoir primarily served, are under the advisory:

  • Genesee River to Flint Street
  • Flint Street to Genesee Street
  • Genesee Street to Arnett Boulevard
  • Arnett Boulevard to Westfield Street
  • Westfield Street to Chili Avenue
  • Chili Avenue to Lee Road
  • Lee Road to Lexington Ave
  • Lexington Ave to Genesee River
  • Genesee River to Inner Loop
  • Inner Loop to University Avenue
  • University Avenue to North/South Goodman Street
  • South Goodman Street to Linden Street
  • Linden Street to Mount Hope Avenue
  • Mount Hope Avenue to McLean Street
  • McLean Street to Genesee River

The city is recommending for people to boil tap water for one minute, then let it cool, before using it to drink, make ice, wash dishes, brush teeth, or prepare food. People can also use bottled water.

You can go to the city’s website to see if your address is affected. Rochester residents can also call 311; the city’s Water Bureau Dispatch at (585) 428-7500; or the Monroe County Department of Public Health at (585) 753-5564 for more information.

RPD has been in contact with the water bureau, which has tested the drinking water. The bureau says there aren’t any safety issues with the drinking water. However, the bureau is relying on other reservoirs for drinking water at the time, instead of the Highland Park Reservoir.

Anyone who has questions should call the Water Bureau Dispatch at (585) 428-7200 or 311 or the Monroe County Department of Public Health at (585) 753-5564.

RPD respond to Highland Park Reservoir (Photo: WHEC)