Divers find damaged wastewater line

Published on Thu, Oct 16, 2003
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Divers find damaged wastewater line

The city of Blaine�s wastewater outfall line was found to be damaged last week and city staff is working to make emergency repairs, according to public works director Steve Banham.

On Monday, October 7, divers from Cosmopolitan Engineering under contract with the city of Blaine inspected the line and found damage to the 24-inch ductile iron pipe. The outfall runs west from the Blaine wastewater treatment plant and conveys treated and disinfected effluent into Semiahmoo Bay.

�About a four-foot section of pipe has been damaged,� Banham said.

Divers were not able to to determine the specific cause or age of the damage, but did videotape the line. Banham believes the damage was the result of a significant amount of external force, possibly an anchor. The divers did not collect any of the pieces of the broken pipe, but will be asked to do so the next time, Banham said.

The damaged section of pipe is approximately 2,000 feet from the shoreline, and only about 100 feet from the diffuser structure at the far west end of the outfall. Because of the long distance from the shoreline, the break is not believed to pose an immediate health hazard.

�This area has already been closed to shellfish harvesting,� Banham added.

Because of the break, effluent is now closer to the shore; however, Banham pointed out the effluent is treated and disinfected.

City staff contacted the department of ecology and the department of health and are working to secure the necessary permits to make emergency repairs to the pipe.

City manager Gary Tomsic stated at Monday�s city council meeting that it would have been another year before divers would have inspected the line; however, officials chose to complete that inspection now because of the current state of city sewer planning.

Following the examination of wastewater alternatives by the Citizens Wastewater Advisory Committee (CWAC) over the last several months, city officials are now meeting in study sessions on Monday, October 20 and Monday, October 27 at 5:15 p.m. in city hall chambers. For more information, call the city at 332-8311 or visit online at www.cityofblaine.com.