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article imageLake Huron water pipeline working again, finger-pointing begins Special

By Ken Wightman     Mar 30, 2010 in Environment
The pipeline carrying water from Lake Huron to more than 350,000 residents of Southwestern Ontario is back in operation. But the blame game has just begun.
The Lake Huron water pipeline, supplying drinking water to 350,000 residents of Southwestern Ontario is whole again. A workman at the site of yesterday's break confirmed, "The water is running again."
The pipeline ruptured at or near a pipe joint, necessitating the replacement of two sections of the line. The badly damaged pipe is still to be seen sitting off to the side as workers finish repairs.
The pipeline should be back in full operation by early this evening after the filling and flushing of the 11 km length of isolated pipeline is complete. The restrictions on water use will remain in force until later tonight to allow for the replenishment of area reservoirs.
Six schools closed on account of a lack of water for drinking and sanitation remain closed for a second day.
Trudy Sweetzir, of The Middlesex-London Health Unit, confirmed the boil water advisory for residents on the Denfield drinking water system is still in force and will stay in force until testing confirms the water is again safe. Residents are being instructed either to bring water to a rolling boil for a minute or more, or to add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid household bleach to 1 gallon water, mixing well and letting stand for 15 minutes before using.
Blackbush Line north of Mount Carmel Drive remains closed as workers finish the repairs to the 48-km...
Blackbush Line north of Mount Carmel Drive remains closed as workers finish the repairs to the 48-km long pipeline from Grand Bend to Arva on the northern edge of London, Ontario.
Back in 2003 the Lake Huron Master Plan anticipated that the complete twinning of the major Southwestern Ontario pipeline would be completed no later than 2012 and as early as 2009. With the present break affecting about 350,000 area residents, and the twinning yet to be completed, the finger pointing has begun.
About 21 km of the large line was twinned over a decade ago. The remaining 27 km is yet to be twinned. It is believed that complete twinning of the line would resolve all low pressure and velocity concerns through 2026. Partial twinning does not resolve all issues.
The London Free Press reports North Middlesex Mayor Wes Hodgson said, "If London had got off its ass and so had OCWA (the Ontario Clean Water Agency), we wouldn't have this problem . . . It's critical . . . we need a secondary feed."
Hodgson said talks have dragged on for years and only now is the Huron water board, which governs the line, getting to the stage of twinning most of the remaining 27 km of the 48-km line.
More about Lake huron, Pipeline, Water, Ontario
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