News

Mirror Pond divers make (literally) shocking find

Bend Parks and Rec learns it's tied to a gas line

Diver gets shocked by underwater pipe

(Update: Bend Parks and Rec, Cascade Natural Gas explain what divers encountered, turns off anode)

On Friday, a group that frequently dives into the Deschutes River to see what they can find came across a metal pipe under the surface of Bend's Mirror Pond.

One of the divers, Lled Smith, told NewsChannel 21 when he went to grab the pipe, he felt a shock in both hands. 

The "Loot the Deschutes" divers immediately took to social media and posted a map of where the pipe was found, in an attempt to find out what it is and who it belongs to.

On Monday, NewsChannel 21 started making some phone calls to learn the same thing.

A Pacific Power representative said Monday it was not their property,  And Bend city officials said they had no idea what the divers found.

On Monday, Bend Parks and Recreation began its OWN investigation.

"We've had staff, electricians, other staff members who have been taking a look at the site that was reported to us," Community Relations Manager Julie Brown said. "And through those determinations, they have concluded it is a low-voltage intentional electrical current associated with a natural gas line."

Cascade Natural Gas spokeswoman Andrea Blessum said Tuesday it's called an anode and was installed in the 1980s.

The placement of an anode has to be a certain distance away from the steel infrastructure, in order for the current to do its job.

Blessum said the Mirror Pond anode is in the specific location because of congestion in the area and finding the correct distance away from a gas line.

Blessum said the federal government requires "cathodic protection" on all buried natural gas lines, and anodes are used to achieve that on buried infrastructure. But this one was shut off Tuesday, after they were notified of what happened

They're looking into a safer alternative, as well as adding a sign to warm swimmers and divers.


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