Sewage pipe leak fixed at Morningside Park in north Nanaimo

NANAIMO - A leak in marine outfall sewage line, that led to the closure of Morningside Park July 29, has been repaired.

A leak in marine outfall sewage line that led to the closure of Morningside Park Wednesday has been repaired.

The leak occurred in an area between the park and the beach and led to treated sewage effluent surfacing at the beach. Crews successfully applied a clamp Thursday afternoon that will prevent further leakage. Restoration and landscape work will take place Tuesday (Aug. 4). The park is expected to re-open later in the week.

Sean De Pol, regional district manager of wastewater services, said the damage wasn’t major and appears to have been caused by old age.

He said the hole was on a weld site, which can be more susceptible to rust and corrosion.

“The thing is to note this is a very large-diameter pipe with essentially a very small hole in it, so it’s not a break,” said De Pol. “I’ve been getting inquiries from the public thinking we have a major issue here – it’s a very, very small leak in comparison to the size of the pipe.”

There was leakage into the soil, but it was treated effluent and contamination isn’t an issue, according to De Pol. The soils have a natural ability to purify organics in the effluent, he said.

The leak was along the same pipe that was damaged during a rain storm last December, which cost more than $100,000 to repair. De Pol didn’t want to speculate on how much repairs for the most recent leak would cost, as the regional district hasn’t been billed.

The marine outfall line is currently part of an $18-million upgrade project, which will see work in 2016.

De Pol said the regional district will be looking at strategies to reduce the risk of future leaks to the existing outfall line during the next three months.

Valerie Wilson, Vancouver Island Health Authority spokeswoman, said test samples from water near the beach were taken, but results were not yet available.

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