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PAB water problems persist

Hard-to-source part may have to be custom built in Texas


A water main break on High Street caused a shut down of water services to the town for two days in a row, prompting closures of schools and businesses. – © René J. Roy / Wreckhouse Press Inc

By René J. Roy

Editor-in-Chief

PORT AUX BASQUES — Residents are grappling with a second significant water main leak in just four months. The most recent issue was detected on Nov. 14 near Rowe Street, in proximity to K&M Enterprises, and is the same pipeline that underwent repairs in July.

Leon MacIsaac, the Town Manager, noted the detection of the leak. “On Tuesday, water was observed seeping into the ground near K&M Enterprises on High Street. This is the junction point from the water treatment plant before it branches off to various parts of the town,” he explained.

After a day of excavation, the town uncovered the source of the leak.

“The main water line from the treatment plant is an 18-inch high-density polyethylene pipe, which connects to a 16-inch ductile iron line at a Y-Joint. We noticed considerable corrosion at the joint,” MacIsaac elaborated. The pipe, believed to be at least 40 years old, is showing signs of deterioration, a common issue in acidic terrains or under high pressure.”

Concerned about the frequency of these incidents, MacIsaac suggests it might be time to consider more comprehensive solutions.

“Continuous patching is not sustainable. We need to plan for the future, which could involve replacing the line. This will be a costly and lengthy process, possibly reaching up to two million dollars and requiring a multi-year commitment,” he stated.

However, MacIsaac did not confirm if the council has discussed a complete replacement of the pipe. The current repair is hampered by a lack of readily available parts.

“We are trying to source the necessary components, but suppliers have nothing in stock. We’re reaching out to contractors across the province for assistance,” he mentioned.

As of Wednesday evening, the town announced via social media that water service had been restored, but it remains under a Boil Water Advisory. The parts, if unavailable locally, may need to be manufactured in Texas, which could further delay the repair process.

MacIsaac noted, “Even seemingly simple parts like gaskets are hard to find, making the repair challenging.”

Residents are advised to stay informed through official updates as the town continues to navigate through this complex infrastructure challenge. Notices are posted on the town’s Meta page.

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