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Protecting water

TC Energy recognizes water as a fundamental component of the ecosystems where we operate. The protection of our water resources is of the utmost importance to both the environment and our business.

How we protect water

Whenever the potential exists for a proposed facility or pipeline to interact with water resources, we conduct evaluations to understand the full nature and extent of the interactions.

TC Energy plays a key role in advancements related to reducing the environmental impacts not only of our own activities, but across the industry. We continually study and predict the effects of pipelines on soil, surface water and groundwater conditions to ensure every possible step is taken to mitigate impacts.

How we cross water safely

When planning to build a new pipeline, information is gathered about water bodies along a proposed pipeline route. This information, along with regulatory requirements, industry best practices, constructability and economic feasibility, is used to determine the pipeline installation method.

Read more in our water crossing fact sheet or watch the video below to learn more about the techniques we use to cross rivers and streams when installing new pipelines.

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Re-training a river

In June 2013, heavy rainfall triggered catastrophic flooding in major southern Alberta rivers. The one-in-200-year flood exposed four of the natural gas pipelines on our NGTL System where they cross the rivers – creating a potential issue that needed to be addressed. The project team used a mix of soft engineering and bioengineering practices to “re-train” the river – essentially giving the river new engineering skills to help it do a different job, all the while minimizing the company’s environmental footprint.

For example:

  • On the Simonette River pipeline remediation project, groynes were built to deflect water away from the river bank to prevent further erosion, channeling the flow of water to its original path so that debris and sediment would be deposited in the back eddies, thus reinforcing the eroding bank and establishing new habitat for fish.
  • On another project, an in-channel sill was created. A trench was constructed downstream of the pipeline and filled with rock so that the depth of cover over the pipeline would increase as the river naturally picked up and deposited granular material at the sill.

Read the full story to learn more about how our creative engineering solutions were successful on these water crossing projects.

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