There was a water main break on Eaglecrest Drive between Harlequin Road and Widgeon Place last week. — Lauren Collins photo

Water main fixed in Qualicum Beach neighbourhood, plans to repair

Water main broke Jan. 3, town had plans address aging pipe

The old water main that failed last week on Eaglecrest Drive was up and running again over the weekend, but there are still plans for an upgrade in the future, according to Qualicum Beach’s engineering director.

The water main on the west side of Eaglecrest Drive, between Harlequin Road and Widgeon Place, broke early Wednesday (Jan. 3), said engineering director Bob Weir.

“We are carrying on with a proper and full replacement of the feed to Mallard Place. We’re basically upgrading the water main feed into Mallard Place and trying to abandon all of the old stuff on the west side of the road,” Weir said Monday morning (Jan. 8).

Weir said the pipe, which was working again as of late last week following emergency repairs, still has some secondary leakage and issues.

“This has been a long-planned upgrade, but we have a lot of difficulty with the conflict of other utilities for which we have no record drawings. We’ve got varied cable, gas and there’s two water mains and sanitary sewer and there’s not good records for anything,” he said.

Weir told The NEWS there are actually two water mains on Eaglecrest Drive; an abestos-cement main that is old and that was “probably at the end of its useful life” on the west side, and a good quality PVC (polyvinyl chloride) main on the east side.

“It’s an interesting situation because Eaglecrest Drive actually has two water mains, one on each side of the road stemming from the subdivision and development under two different entities that couldn’t come to common agreement,” Weir said.

“It’s been on our books to sort of rationalize the water system out there and get everything on the west swung over to the good main on the east, but it (the west pipe) kind of beat us to the punch,” he said.

Weir said the main failed in several places.

On Jan. 3, Weir said, the Town of Qualicum Beach had crews working at the site until 11 p.m. with flaggers on duty all night to protect the public and the site.

The broken water main affected about two dozen homes, Weir said. He added town staff tried as best they could to acommodate people.

“We delivered bottled water to all the residents who were going to be affected (Wednesday),” he said. “We actually activated our emergency co-ordinator in case we had to provide some facilities for people to go and stay or shower.”

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