In Lamoine on Sept. 15, Mill Road was closed to repair a leak in the water pipes. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MALACHY FLYNN

Water leak repaired in Lamoine

LAMOINE — A leak in the Cold Spring Water Co.’s pipe network was repaired on Sept. 15 along Mill Road in Lamoine with the help of the Maine Rural Water Association.

John Holt, the company’s treasurer, shared some details about the leak, how it was dealt with and efforts to repair it.

“There’s a leak connecting the service line from one of the houses,” Holt said. “We’ve found it and it’s being repaired today [Sept. 15].”

Holt said that the leak was likely caused by fatigue in the old pipes. He also said that this leak was a difficult one to find due to the way in which underground leaks sometimes behave in Lamoine’s sandy soil, which does not force water to the surface as other types of soil might.

“It’s particularly difficult for us to find leaks underground,” Holt said. “When there’s a leak underground it goes down rather than finding a way up.”

Using equipment with the help of the Maine Rural Water Association, the company was able to locate the leak.

Since the Cold Spring Water Co. is not a municipal agency in association with the town of Lamoine, the cost of repairs must be covered by the water company with its own money. Holt said these costs come out of membership fees paid by residents who use the water, and from “prudent savings over the years.”

Due to the age of the company’s piping, small leaks are common and happen somewhat frequently, as is the case in all aging pipe systems. Recently more severe leaks have been discovered, which have lost substantial amounts of water.

“These old systems always have small leaks here and there,” Holt said. “We’ve had an increase … we’ve found two substantial leaks.”

The water company does not have a way of measuring the amount of water lost in these more substantial leaks, but according to Holt it was “certainly in the tens of thousands of gallons.”

This made an impact on the water source for the Cold Spring Water Co., as it is spring-fed, and needs time to naturally refill with spring water from its source.

“Our water source is a spring, they have to be recharged naturally,” Holt said. “The spring could not recharge fast enough to service all of the demand.”

As a result of this water loss before the leak was repaired, the water company began restricting the use of its pumps in an effort to not deplete the town’s water source. The pumps at the water company only ran from 5 to 9 a.m., and then again from 5 to 9 p.m. In between these times, there was enough water in the system already for running water to work.

“We’ve restricted water use for a couple days,” Holt said. “I’ve received absolutely no complaints from anybody.”

Malachy Flynn

Reporter Malachy Flynn covers news on the Schoodic beat, which includes the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Hancock, Sorrento, Sullivan, Trenton, Waltham, and Winter Harbor. He also reports on the town of Tremont on Mount Desert Island. He welcomes tips and suggestions about stories in the area. To contact Malachy with tips or questions, email him at [email protected].

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