Friday, February 25, 2011

Treated Sewage Leaks Into Hammond Bay

Crews Work To Repair Leak
A leak from an outfall pipe which runs through Morningside Park is proving challenging for repair crews. The leak was first spotted Feb. 23 by a contractor working in the area. Die was injected into the system to try and isolate the source of the leak but it is proving to not be as far from shore as first thought.

Crews are following the pipe back towards the shore and as yet have not located the exact place where the pipe has broken. It is in the same area that a repair was made some 15 months ago at which time a hole in the pipe approximately 1 1/2" in diameter was found to be the culprit. The effluent travels through a thick steel pipe which is covered over with a layer of concrete to provide further protection.

The best guess at this point is that the pipe has worn through in an area because of corrosion, and the best case scenario is that a quick repair will solve the problem. However, given the fact this is the second leak in a short period of time, it could point to a problem with perhaps a whole length of pipe. While the pipe is 38 years old it should have an expected lifespan of nearly 75 years.

This outfall is an integral part of the wastewater management system and simply can't be shut down for much longer than 3 or 4 hours to make a repair. Unless of course everyone simply stopped putting anything down the drain!

Compounding the challenge of finding the problem and making the repair is the fact that a low tide is required in order for the work to be done, and right now we only have one low tide every 24 hours.

In the meantime the park is closed, and people are advised to not go into the water, although not many people are likely inclined to go for a dip given the current temperatures.


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