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Saint John to study possible causes of water pipe leaks

Click to play video: 'Saint John council studying possible causes of pipe leaks in city’s west side' Saint John council studying possible causes of pipe leaks in city’s west side
Common Council is looking into a situation on the city’s west side after a number of residents and businesses reported leaking copper pipes. Andrew Cromwell reports – Jan 30, 2018

Many residents in west Saint John are wondering if there is something in the water that’s causing their pipes to leak.

There have been more and more calls to deal with pinhole leaks in copper pipes.

READ MORE: City says Saint John’s 200 million dollar water project on time, on budget

Blaine Harris runs a barber shop and for the past several weeks he’s been forced to deal with more than just a shave and a haircut.

“We come down here to the barber shop and there was water all over the floor,” Harris said.

“We looked up at the ceiling and you could see the water just spurting out of the middle of the pipe.”

Harris has replaced all the plumbing in his building. It comes just months after the city switched that part of town to well water.

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Saint John Energy has also reported a spike in water heater issues.

A short distance away from Harris’ barber shop is Atlantic Rehab Physiotherapy. Owner Achim Khitab is currently dealing with his 11th leak.

“It’s almost (like) the cartoon that you see with a guy plugging a leak and then another one comes up. That’s the experience we’re having over the last month or so,” he said.

Many are wondering if the problem somehow lies with the water coming from the wells. It is “hard water” but within acceptable standards.

The issue has been discussed at Saint John council and a one- to two-month study is being undertaken to collect data.

“It’s still frustrating because I don’t know what caused the leak,” said Blake Armstrong, councillor for Ward 1. “It’s all of a sudden everybody’s having problems so they have to find out if the real reason is the hard water.”

WATCH: Broken water pipe, faulty alarm leads to extensive water damage at Petitcodiac Regional School

Click to play video: 'Broken water pipe, faulty alarm leads to extensive water damage at Petitcodiac Regional School' Broken water pipe, faulty alarm leads to extensive water damage at Petitcodiac Regional School
Broken water pipe, faulty alarm leads to extensive water damage at Petitcodiac Regional School – Jan 8, 2018

There is a sentiment that the city, at least in part, should shoulder some of the blame.

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“The city’s going to have to do something,” Harris said. “I shouldn’t have to put a softener on my property at another $3,000 dollars. I’m paying enough for water now.”

Khitab admitted that if it was his fault, he’d accept responsibility.

“I’ll take responsibility and do what we can, but I don’t believe this is my thing,” he said.

Anyone experiencing problems is asked to contact Saint John Water or go to the city’s website.

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