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Union Gas interested in relocating line under pond/river in Salem

Proposed relocation - The purple line across the Salem pond/Irvine River illustrates the proposed path to relocate a Union Gas main. A recent test led to concerns from local residents worried about the impact to both the river and nearby Veterans Park.     Submitted photo

Union Gas interested in relocating line under pond/river in Salem

SALEM - Union Gas is considering relocating its gasmain under the Salem pond/Irvine River.

The company recently approached the township about relocating its existing gasmain on the Salem Bridge to the unopened road allowance from George Street across/beneath the Irvine River and through a section of Veteran’s Park.  

Should the Salem Bridge require replacement in the future, the existing gasmain on the bridge would need to be relocated.

Union Gas recently retained a drilling contractor to install a few boreholes for the purpose of better understanding the soil and bedrock conditions in the area.

Centre Wellington Township’s managing director of infrastructure services Colin Baker stated the work on municipal property was authorized by the township through a permit.

Baker adds “at this stage, we understand that Union Gas is assessing the feasibility of installing the new gasmain in this location. If this new alignment is feasible, it would become a permanent location for the new gasmain.”

Baker stated the boreholes being drilled at this time are to understand soil/bedrock properties. He later suggested that if the relocation is considered feasible, the company would likely use a directional drilling process for the gasmain installation.

Baker added, “It was a condition of the township permit issued to Union Gas for Union Gas to provide advance notification to the residents in the area of the drilling and provide the residents with contact information at Union Gas in case they had any questions or concerns.”

Salem resident Dave Authier said he had no advance notice of the work.

He also disagreed with putting the line under the river. “The river can be very turbulent and (I) have seen the changes it can do to the river bed over the last 20 years.”

Authier said residents of Wellington County should have been asked if they wanted this option.

He acknowledged the option would be costly and said perhaps a better solution would be to rebuild the Salem dam and incorporate the pipe into that, which would be solving two problems instead of spending money to put a pipe under the river.

The dam is privately owned.

Authier also questioned why the gas line needs to be moved at all. “Why does it need to be moved period? If we as residents have a say, I say not under the river and going through our park,” he said. A petition started by Authier opposes a gas line underneath the river. The petition is at


March 9, 2018


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