Star readers have identified mysterious wiring in a boulevard on Dalegrove Crescent as a component of a system that reduces corrosion of water pipes.
Many readers told us that the metal plate with wires attached to it is connected to a cathodic protection system, which shows that the public is a lot smarter than some people (especially politicians) give them credit for.
Last week I wrote about an electrical thingy in front of Peter Granger’s house, near Martin Grove Road and Eglinton Avenue, surrounded by a pipe that was left protruding from the ground after curb and sidewalk replacement several years ago.
I thought it might be telecom wiring and asked Rogers and Bell to check it out. Both said it wasn’t, so I asked Rogers if they had any idea what it was. They said a technician thought it was hooked up to the water system.
That seemed unlikely, so I asked readers to look closely at the photo and guess what it might be. The challenge clearly captured their imagination; at least 120 emails rolled in with various suggestions.
Several proposed that Granger cut the wires and wait to see who showed up to fix it, an appealing option to be sure, but tainted with vandalism.
Dozens of readers said it was part of a cathodic protection system for water pipes, something I knew nothing about, to my shame.
So I looked it up — you can find out just about anything online — and learned that cathodic protection connects a base metal (in this case, the pipe) to a sacrificial metal that corrodes, instead of the pipe.
Who knew, except for a whole bunch of readers?
STATUS: I sent a note and photos to Toronto Water and got a reply from spokesperson Diala Homaidan that said it was “a testing station for cathodic protection, bonded to the water main below, used to monitor the condition of the anodes. Anodes are used for cathodic protection, (to prevent water mains from deteriorating) and can be found on city property above water mains. Generally, the test stations are supposed to be flush with the ground to prevent tripping hazards. Toronto Water staff will attend to investigate and, if the test station has become a hazard, they will remove it.”
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