Consultants not sure how long it will take to fix pipe leak

Leak in the Smiths Falls water tower.
Overflow water spews from the base of the water tower as it’s filled Monday. Photo credit: Sally Smith.
Posted on: March 13, 2018

Sally Smith

Smiths Falls staff quickly realized there was a water leak somewhere in the water system because of “lost pressure,” Malcolm Morris, CAO, explained at Committee of the Whole Monday night, responding to a Media Release put out on the Smiths Falls website at 2:50 p.m. He explained that the rupture causing the leak was due to “construction activity” at the basin. It was a large pipe, he said, 16 inches (50 cm.) in diameter on the south side of the basin. The Town restored the pressure and filled the [water] tank up, he continued.

There are three pipes – one 16 inch and two 8 inch. The two 8 inch pipes have taken up the slack from the ruptured 16 inch but “the capacity is still compromised,” Morris said Tuesday, so “we are asking people to conserve water.

“The other two pipes are half the capacity” of the large one. (It would take four 8 inch pipes to fulfill the full capacity of the 16 inch pipe.)

J.L. Richards Consulting is on site determining how long it will take to fix the large pipe. “We have to understand the extent of the issue,” Morris went on. The pipe is on the bottom of the river on the sludge and muck; the water is low right now which makes fixing the pipe a bit easier. In practice, a coffer dam is used (as was recently used in Perth for the Rocky Ramp II phase). “We have to understand the scope, find a solution and implement it,” Morris said.

He doesn’t know how long this will take. In the meantime, south-side residents are asked to “please conserve.”

The iconic water tower “was drained down and lost a lot of water. Once we stopped the flow, we began refilling quickly [which caused] an overflow problem. Water ran down the leg and spewed out due to the overflow.”

Kids riding bikes in the area that night, however, biked through the running water with delight.