Liewicki leaks: Moose Jaw water pipe leaking away

Nathan Liewicki
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A sizable build up of ice has formed under a walking bridge on the far west side of Wakamow Valley, adjacent to the northbound lanes of Main Street South.The ice is the result of a leaky water pipe known as the "east feeder line," which passes under the bridge. 

The City of Moose Jaw has sprung a leak, but nothing is being done to plug it.

An anonymous individual made me aware of said leak while I attended a recent community event, to which I was immediately flabbergasted.

How could the city allow a pipe, carrying water, to be leaky and the media be completely unaware of it?

Unfortunately for the city, the Times-Herald is aware of the problem. And this reporter will not stop digging until he finds the answers he is looking for.

So, I went to check out the pipe for myself to see if what I had been told was, in fact, true.

The pipe in question is located under a bridge on the far west side of Wakamow Valley, adjacent to the northbound lanes of Main Street South.

After parking my vehicle and trudging through piles of snow, I stepped on the bridge. It only took about two or three steps and I could hear it.

The sound of dripping water was clearly heard.

It got louder until I found myself standing on top of a piece of plywood covering what I perceived to be the spot directly above the leaking pipe.

Why otherwise would the plywood be there?

I strolled across the bridge and down by the edge of Plaxton’s Lake for a better look.The build up of ice was remarkable and showed just how much water has leaked from the pipe.

The individual I spoke with told me that the pipe had been leaking for about two years.

Two years? Are you kidding me?

So, earlier this week I contacted the city’s Water and Wastewater Division in an attempt to start cracking the mysterious leaky pipe code. I had a brief conversation with City of Moose Jaw Manager of Water and Wastewater Orval Coates about the issue, but he told me it was not his department.

Coates told me the “Sewer and Water Department takes care of those pipes, and there is a leak on there that they are aware of.”

Duane Grado, the city’s public works manager, oversees the Sewer and Water Department.

I attempted to contact Grado, but was unable to get past his secretary. He had already gone away on holidays.

One would think that with Grado gone away for a few days someone else would be able to shed light on the situation I inquired about. In this instance, I didn’t have another outlet available to me.

But I digress — back to the leaky pipe. Coates said the pipe is called the east feeder line.

“That particular spot is in a really difficult place to try to repair, so that’s the reason it’s still leaking,” said Coates.

He couldn’t, however, verify how long the pipe has been leaking. Those answers will not be available — at the earliest — until January.

In the mean time, I’m left to wonder how much water is being leaked daily? Is the water being contaminated because of exposure to outside elements? And when will the city finally fix this pipe?

Let’s just hope this is the only leak in Moose that needs to be plugged.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Times-Herald, Water and Wastewater Division

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Wakamow Valley, Plaxton

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Recent comments

  • Sean
    December 19, 2013 - 15:46

    We moved here in May, and I know for a fact that it has been leaking at the very least since we arrived. The biggest leak I have seen in town, is found in the main 'ambition' line which seems to have depleted the cities resources, which affects many systems in the city... like snow removal, and repairing street lights.

  • EB in Stoon
    December 19, 2013 - 11:58

    Why doesn't a serious issue like the careless waste of natural resources get a serious news report?