Major sewage forcemain break
occurs in Richmond
June 19, 2002
This is break...
"No clearer evidence
is needed, to demonstrate that a Munster-Richmond forcemain
high risks to the ---140-plus--- private, shallow wells
11-kilometre pipeline route, and to the Richmond Fen."
The city has confirmed that
a major sewer forcemain break occurred at about 2:30 pm
Wednesday afternoon, June 19th, 2002. The rupture
occurred in the newly installed “twin crossing pipes”, buried
in the north shoulder of the Jock River.
City crews were seen arriving at the
scene at about 7:30 pm, at which point about five hours of
pumping volumes had been flowing into the Jock River. How many
thousands of litres of sewage spilled to the Jock River has
yet to be calculated.
Closer view of fifth
rupture to occur in the Richmond-GlenCairn forcemain
Evidence of erosion
around these cracks in the pipeline, indicated that the
been leaking sewage
"over the span of
several weeks or months" before its total failure.
(Quote from Environmental Hydraulics Group Inc,
for David McManus Engineering Ltd.)
In the case of a similar
high-pressure forcemain coming from Munster, the occurrence of
slow leakage would represent a "worst case scenario".
All residents with shallow wells would be at risk from
life-threatening E-coli infection, through their own
drinking water ...long before any alarms would sound.
Residents deserve better than to be treated no differently
than "test canaries in a coal mine".
THIS REPRESENTS A
AND UNACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF RISK.
DON'T LET IGNORANT
POLITICIANS AND BUREAUCRATS DO THIS TO YOU!
June 19 2002 forcemain break
Flow was later diverted to
Lagoon Cell “C”, and Sewer-Matic pump trucks commenced “cosmetic”
mop-up procedures. The last pump truck was seen leaving the scene
at about 5:45pm on Thursday, the 20th.
At about 6:30 pm on the 20th
repairs were completed, and the excavation was refilled. Workers
on the site were asked the cause of the break, and they stated
that the cause was under investigation. It seemed strange that the
said investigation would have to do without the hard evidence of
the broken pipe, because it was left in the excavation, and was
buried under the excavation re-fill material.
Photo at left, shows the
4-metre deep pit being filled up, after the twin pipelines
Crescent on left side, shows the last visible portion of the
broken pipe sections, that were buried during the refilling of
This begs the question:
1.) Was the break due to a manufacturing flaw? (If YES, then:
Why bury the evidence?)
2.) If not, then: Is human error, once again, the problem?
episode only feeds the controversy surrounding Public concerns
regarding the city’s profound lack of wisdom in proposing a
pipeline to carry Munster’s Sewage to Richmond.
If a brand new section of pipeline ---just a few dozen
metres in length--- ruptures TWICE, in its
first seven months, imagine the risk created by a 1700-metre
pipeline span through the Fen!
clearer evidence is needed, to demonstrate that a Munster-Richmond
forcemain would convey unnecessarily high risks to the
---140-plus--- private, shallow wells along the eleven-kilometre
pipeline route, and to the Richmond Fen.
How far is
the city intending to stray away from Best
Management Practices, its fiduciary duty to ratepayers and the
sound environmental science and engineering ...which it has
been entrusted to fulfill?
does the city intend to obsessively promote ---for all the
wrong reasons--- such unwarranted risks to
the environment, and public health and safety, (as those
generated by a Munster-Richmond pipeline)?
The city's irresponsibility becomes especially evident, in
view of the pipeline's $23 million life-cycle price tag.
When you consider that a perfectly risk-free local system,
without a pipeline, and
without solids-retention lagoons,
can be utilized ---which has a life-cycle cost of $5.9 million
...where's the city's accountability? Where's its logic? So
ratepayers have not received the slightest semblance of a public
accounting, or rationale.
Example of the ONSITE TREATMENT SYSTEM
the wake of preceding pipeline disasters, such as the 50-million
dollars wasted on the Ottawa South Collector, for which
there has never been a public forensic accounting, the whole
city’s Wastewater Infrastructure Operations Department "has
waving red flags all over it", calling out, the urgent need
for a highest level forensic investigation.
Such wanton disregard for
the public interest, environmental stewardship, and trust with the
public purse, presently appears to border on the criminal.
Residents should demand an
immediate halt to the city’s reckless course of action, and insist
on the more prudent, onsite treatment plant for Munster …or
otherwise, demand that a public judicial (forensic) inquiry be