• John Jantak

Multiple pipe connections hamper water leak shut-off effort in St. Lazare


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Water pools on Rue Gosselin from a nearby leaking pipe on October 9. Both Mayor Robert Grimaudo and Ghislain Castonguay, project manager for the city’s infrastructure division, said the nothing can be done to stop the leak because the pipe is on private property.

A broken water pipe from a property on Rue Gosselin that has been spewing water onto the side of the street for several weeks still is not repaired because phone calls informing the owner of the situation have apparently been ignored, according to St. Lazare municipal officials.

“The town can’t stop the leak because it’s on private property,” said Mayor Robert Grimaudo during a telephone interview October 10. “The guy is not talking to us. He’s not answering our calls and for some reason he’s ignoring the whole situation,” he said.

Nearby resident Susan Clarke advised Your Local Journal about the problem last week. Clarke who lives across the street said she repeatedly called the town to advise them about the leak but said the town still hasn’t done anything to stop it.

Multiple connections

The problem is apparently because the pipe that is leaking is also connected to some adjacent houses. If the town cut off the water to the affected property, the neighbouring properties would have no water also because there are no individual shut-off valves, said Clarke.

The leaking water has been pooling at the entrance to some driveways ever since the water pipe broke, Clarke said. The ground has become so saturated that the first 10 feet of a cedar hedge on the property next to the leak has died. She’s also upset about the amount of water that has been wasted.

“It’s spilling thousands of gallons of water a day,” said Clarke. “If I put my sprinkler out on a non-assigned day, public security would be here in a flash to fine us for wasting water. Why is the town allowing this to happen? This is not a good thing.”

Homeowner permission needed

“The problem is we can’t do anything until we get permission to go onto his property to fix the leak. He hasn’t given us permission yet, but at some point we’re going to have to deal with it. Water is being wasted and that’s a really terrible thing. Our infrastructure department is really on this and they’re dealing with it,” said Grimaudo.

“These are private pipes that cross property lines to connect to the main pipe at one homeowner’s residence,” said Ghislain Castonguay, project manager for the town’s infrastructure division. “We’re usually not aware of these connections. We don’t know where they go or how they were made. Now that the pipes are 40 years old, they’re starting to break.”

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Susan Clarke and Ben Pawnall stand next to water pipe shut off valve that was recently installed by municipal employees in St. Lazare. The couple recently learned the city refused to reimburse them for the $2,000 they spent to have their shut-off valve and water pipe connected to the main water line because their request wasn’t submitted within the 15 day deadline after the connection was completed in early September even though the work was done on city property.

Didn’t know about connections