Landslide wipes out water pipeline to Watson Island

During last week’s heavy rains a landslide destroyed a pipeline that provided Watson Island, leaving the businesses there without any running water.

During last week’s  heavy rains a landslide destroyed a pipeline that provided Watson Island, leaving the businesses there without any running water.

“It was from Taylor Lake, that big wood stave line, where it comes down from the lake near the bay where the landslide took out the whole line. Luckily where it happened, if such a thing could be ideal it was ideal  because all the water just ran right into the creek. Once the city became aware of the break they just went out and shut the gate valve,” explains Port Edward’s chief administrative officer, Ron Bedard.

Officials with the city of Prince Rupert called their counterparts over in Port Edward and with a little ingenuity a temporary fix was put in place.  According to Bedard, the municipality took a standard firehouse hose which they connected to a fire hydrant connected to their community’s water system, and then attached the other end to another fire hydrant on Watson Island near the old mill site, solving the problem for now.

“At least it gives them some water to keep the operations there going…They’ve got 50 or 60 people working there for Quickload or other businesses and they need water in order to run the toilets and such,” says Bedard.

Bedard says that the destroyed pipes are not likely to be repaired because they were built back when there was still an operating pulp mill on Watson Island and the demand for water was greater than it is now. Instead,  Port Edward is looking into options for permanently connecting the island to their water system, which Bedard says is a much easier option for everyone.