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It came from outer space! No, it came from Lake Huron

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Cathy Dobson

Dave Lambert wants to know three things.

Where did the enormous pipe that’s washed up in front of his Bright’s Grove home come from?

Who does it belong to?

And who is going to remove it?

Lambert lives in his childhood home on Lambert Road overlooking Lake Huron. The rusty piece of pipe just appeared in early July.

“I’ve been here my whole life – that’s nearly 64 years – and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said the retired pipefitter.

The pipe appears to be an elbow and is about six feet (two metres) in diameter and 10 feet (three metres) long. The inside contains some metal mesh.

After Lambert reported the strange object to City Hall last week two workers arrived in a truck. They took one look at it and said it was too heavy to move, he said.

“We don’t know what they’re going to do now. Are they going to need a tow truck or a barge or what?”

And other unusual debris has turned up lately, Lambert said.

“We’ve got all sorts of metal trash along the shore. There’s a five-foot pipe over in front of my neighbours and we’re all wondering what it could be.”

A popular theory among lakeshore residents is that industrial and building materials were used to rebuild the old Lakeshore Road when it collapsed in the 1950s.

“Some of my elder neighbours say … the township used anything they could find for fill and then bulldozed dirt over it,” said Lambert.

“Someone else said the pipe looks like it came from a ship. It’s so heavy, we wonder why it didn’t just sink. But we have no answers, only speculation.”

Whatever the case, Lambert hopes the city figures out how to remove the big pipe because it’s a safety concern.

“It’s on the city’s right-of-way, so they need to keep it safe,” he said.

Rob Williams, Sarnia’s construction manager, said he hadn’t talked to Lambert but had heard from a Goldie Lane neighbour about a different large piece of pipe in the water.

“I went to take a look at it and I believe that pipe has been there since at least 1989. I have a picture of it taken back then,” Williams said.

He believes the metal was used at one time for shoreline protection and remained buried until recent high water and wave action exposed it again.

“I think it’s industrial scrap of some type,” Williams said.

The city didn’t put it there and it isn’t the city’s responsibility, he added.

“But I’ll go out and take another look at it.”

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