*This article has been edited to add new information.
SOUTH STORMONT, Ontario – During a South Stormont Township meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 14, Public Works Manager Ross Gellately informed Council and members of the public that a pipe from the Ingleside Wastewater Treatment Plant had surfaced and floated into the St. Lawrence River.
The pipe, that is approx. 750 mm in diameter and 1.5 km in length, was noticed on Friday, Aug. 9 in the area of McLaren Campground. Staff attended the pipe and placed pylons on it to signify its existence to water traffic.
Still under investigation, the cause of the pipe’s surfacing and the extent of the situation is still unknown at this point. Gellately contended that the phenomena has occurred before in a municipality that borders Lake Ontario.
“That community had a very expensive solution,” said Gellately.
It is believed that the pipe could have been installed in the mid-1990’s during the construction of the Plant, and directed to be at least 1 m below surface level.
Gellately said that more information will become available within the next few weeks and that insurers have been notified and a company has been assigned to the claim.
Councillor Jennifer MacIsaac questioned if the pipe would cause any operational impacts and Gellately replied that it ‘would absolutely not.’
“The pipe and the waste water plant operations are continuing to operate as normal, save for the section of pipe that has somehow floated to the top of the river,” said the Township’s Economic Development and Communications Coordinator, Chris Hemond, in an email.
A team of divers are set to assess the pipe as soon as possible.
“We expect the dive team to be looking at the pipe soon and assessing what may have caused the problem, and hopefully will have some more information at that time,” said Hemond.
More information on this will be provided as it becomes available.