The significant sewer main break in Garlands Crossing has been repaired.
The West Hants Public Works department teamed up with Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to repair the damaged line within TIR's right-of-way last week.
Rick Sherrard, the municipality's director of Public Works, first informed council of the issue at their committee of the whole meeting Aug. 23. It was noted the Public Works employees surveyed the damaged line using a video camera and were working on a plan of action. The repair was estimated to cost about $60,000. To make the repair more challenging, the sewer main was located in a developing sub-surface sinkhole at the Oulton's Card Lock Fuel Station.
In an interview Sept. 20, Sherrard said the project went as planned, and thanked motorists for their patience while the work was underway.
“It's always an inconvenience but the motoring public, I think, were very understanding, and we would like to thank them for that,” said Sherrard.
Despite public concern that raw waste was leaking into the ground, Sherrard said that was not the case.
He explained that due to the very high water table in the area, and the pipes being lower in the ground, sewage did not leak out. Public Works employees went looking for the leak when they noticed more water entering the sewage pumping station.
Sherrard explained that when there's a sewer pipe break in a gravity sewer situation, water enters the line.
“In this particular case, we were very fortunate that it was a situation where we were taking on water, not losing it. There was no opportunity for any environmental... consequences,” said Sherrard.
“In this particular case, we were very fortunate that it was a situation where we were taking on water, not losing it. There was no opportunity for any environmental... consequences.” Rick Sherrard
As for concerns that the break could have been connected to the two water boil orders being issued earlier in September, Sherrard said that's highly unlikely.
“In my professional opinion, there is absolutely no possible way,” he said.
“The contaminations were in two opposite ends, if you will, of the water system. We would have had bad results in the general vicinity, which we did not. And also, the water system is a pressure system. If there was any leakage in the water pipe system, it would blow water out; it wouldn't take sewer in,” he added.
It took five days — Sept. 15-20 — to complete the project, from setting up the work zone, to excavating, making the repair, reinstating the road and tearing down the work site. Sherrard said it was the first type of repair that he has been part of that was caused by subsurface subsidence that “was great enough to be more than the pipe could withstand.”
The bulk of the repair costs will be paid by the municipality, Sherrard noted, as it was their sewer line that needed to be fixed.
“The way that we were able to do some pre-planning of that project in consultation with Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, I think it was a very co-operative project and it came out to the benefit of all.”