DERBY, N.Y. -- A massive water main break impacting the Southtowns for nearly a week now is being called the worst break ever for the Erie County Water Authority. 

The ECWA's executive director, Earl Jann, says engineers are working day and night to fix the problem pipe at the Sturgeon Point Treatment Plant in Derby.

Crews have to dig 25 feet underground for the repairs.

The executive director estimates the total cost of the project has reached at least $1 million.

He stresses the need for everyone to cut back on water usage including farmers, golf courses and residents.. 

"If people don't cut back on the use of water while we have this crisis, then eventually, the next step would be a mandatory conservation and then even more dramatic things could happen after that," Jann said.

A reminder to residents in the area, as of now, the water is safe to use to drinking and bathing.

The restrictions impact thousands of people in the Town and Village of Hamburg, Town and Village of Orchard Park, the Town of Aurora and Village of East Aurora, along with the villages of Angola, Farnham, Silver Creek and the Seneca Cattaraugus Territory.

Water restrictions are expected to be lifted by next week Thursday.