Cheakamus Generating Station Lead Abatement
The Generating Station has been in operation since 1957. With two penstock (pipes) extending from Squamish Lake to the generators, BC Hydro needed our help to remove lead paint along the pipes in various locations. Since there is an active water stream running under the penstock the lead paint is considered an environmental hazard to the community. This was Phase 1 of a 10 Phase project that will allow BC Hydro to cut open the penstock to install an access hatch.
Project scope and our approach.
We were tasked with removing 50ft of lead paint, 25ft per pipe, along the penstock. We built a secured working area to contain all debris from our work and to project the area from rain. We also brought in an environmental specialist to approve our containment and procedures to ensure the safety of the water source and wildlife surrounding the project.
Our laser ablation technology removed the first coat of paint from the bottom of the penstock. As we moved along the penstock removing the lead, the terrain change and the pipe became less accessible to we moved to a hand and solvent removal solution. Due to restricted access, the is the method that will be used for the remainder of the project.
Due to the location and nature of this project, our largest challenge was the environment.
There was significant overgrown vegetation along the path of the penstock and we were also working on uneven terrain
We constructed a level floor using plywood, 2x4s and other materials to create a better working surface for our equipment and employees
The stream below the penstock was at risk of being exposed to the hazardous material of lead paint as it was being abated
We created a containment (our own dams) to contain all debris from the abatement and prevent it from contaminating the active water source
Results to date.
While the project will be ongoing with multiple phases, we were able to see positive results in Phase 1:
50ft of lead penstock was abatement from the Lake to the generators
Despite having added a second penstock after the project began, we still completed this phase on time