With fingers crossed, the ice in the skating arena of Broda Sportsplex might be ready for use within a couple weeks, which will have delayed the skating season opening by about a month.
Normally the ice is made and ready for skating by about the middle of October and if all goes well, it could be ready before mid-November, according to Kev Sumner, Kamsack’s recreation director.
“We had to delay the start of the season because of excessive leaks discovered in the refrigerated pipes embedded in the concrete floor of the hockey arena,” Sumner said last week, adding that the curling arena is not affected by the leaks and it was being flooded as he spoke.
The curling arena should be ready for use shortly after the beginning of November, he said.
Explaining the problem with the skating arena, Sumner said that the building is now more than 40 years old and it was discovered that between 10 and 15 of the 250 refrigerated methanol tubes in the concrete are causing problems with leakages.
Over the years, the building has been upgraded and maybe the time has come to focus more on the rink’s infrastructure, he said, adding that a product called Rink Seal Pro has been ordered which guarantees a temporary fix.
“If not a fix, then hopefully, the product would at least slow down the leaks,” he said.
The workers who would be applying the product to the methanol lines are expected in Kamsack in early November, and then by mid-month it is hoped the ice should be ready for use.
“We apologize for the inconvenience, but this is a very serious issue,” Sumner said, adding that the people have been fantastic with their understanding of the matter.
“But, we’ll have to address the matter,” he said. After the stopgap solution is introduced to the lines in subsequent years, other maintenance solutions are available but they too are a temporary fix.
These solutions are expensive and the community will probably want to make a more permanent fix to the problem, he said, explaining that other rinks in Saskatchewan of a similar age as is Kamsack’s have had similar problems.
A permanent solution might be to replace the concrete floor and the pipes embedded in the concrete with either another concrete floor or with a sand floor like the curling rink has, but that would limit the types of activities that might be held in the arena, he said.
Sumner said that either way, significant fundraising will be needed within a year or two.
At the turn of the 20th century, Shaler introduced an innovative product to stop leaks in vehicle tires, said the company’s website. Over the next 100 years, Shaler created stop leak solutions for nuclear submarines, locomotives and many other industrial applications.
“Today, Shaler has formulated a revolutionary solution for ice arenas called Rink Seal Pro,” it said. “It’s an affordable, safe and environmentally friendly solution to the widespread problem of under-ice coolant leaks. Under-ice leaks mean expensive maintenance and poor ice quality – both of which can quickly threaten an ice arena's bottom line.
“When you choose Shaler, you’re not just choosing a product. You’re choosing over 100 years in stop leak expertise,” it said.
Representatives of Shaler have indicated that the product to be used in the pipes will not damage the facility’s geothermal system.