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Part Two In Flood Efforts: The Warm Water System

By Michelle Cyr-Whiting

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 03:10 PM

City officials, Canfor reps, and the media gather for the WWS unveiling

Prince George, B.C. -  Members of the City’s Emergency Operations Centre, Mayor Colin Kinsley and reps from Canfor’s Intercon Pulpmill were on hand to officially unveil the $400-thousand dollar pipeline that has been pumping warm water into the Nechako River since yesterday.

EOC member, Bob Radloff, says the daily cost of operating the warm water system (WWS) is approximately three-thousand dollars.  "The daily cost of the heat, for instance, is about $24-hundred a day."

Radloff says the City will be submitting the bill, through PEP, to the provincial government.  He says no upper ceiling has yet been set.  "I think they’re (the provincial government) is being flexible, as we are and we’re committed to at least doing it for a month and monitoring how it performs."

Hot water from Canfor’s Intercon mill is being piped to its pumpstation on the bank of the Nechako River, about two-kilometres upstream from its confluence with the Fraser. 

The 40-degree Celsius water is being cooled with well water before it enters the Nechako. 

"We’ve got about 300-litres per second coming from our well and then about 70-litres per second of hot water coming from our mill, " says Intercon General Manager Brett Robinson. 

 "We blend it and control the temperature and we’re keeping it below 15-degrees.

Robinson says Canfor is taking responsibility for operating the pipeline, "We control the site here, so we control the water going in and the temperature on this site." 

He says the cold air temperatures have not caused any problems since testing began on Monday.  "It’s worked seamlessly."

Prince George Mayor Colin Kinsley says, this is the second of some very unique solutions being employed to mitigate the flood risks posed by the icejam in the Nechako. 

He says the Amphibex created the open channel in the river that the WWS is now trying to maintain. 

Kinsley says early testing of tepid water from city wells opened leads in the ice, creating confidence, "It should make a major impact on keeping the channel opening and eroding the ice that is existing there.  So we’re hoping the channel that you see behind us will actually get much wider and flow much more freely with the addition of this warm water."

The mayor says a decision on whether to make the pipeline and WWS a permanent fixture will be one of the options looked at in a joint city-provincial study to find long-term flood solutions.

Click on video icon at right for video coverage of today’s unveiling...

Photo below shows the channel opened up by the Amphibex, with help from Mother Nature, to the west of the Intercon pumpstation.

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Cute !!! Given a lemon, we make lemonade.

Can't sell wood - sell warm water...

Quantify, diversify and rectify..... HAH !!

Goodtimes !!

Ok I just gotta ask why are they using well water to cool down the hot water when they could be pumping river water to merge with the hot water to cool it down instead of using well water. the reason I am against well water usage is that they are using good drinking water to cool off thewater that is being pumped into the river!!

I know there is a lot of water on this earth but only a very small percentage of it is drinkable, and we are using to cool off water that is going into the river, instead of using river water!!
The well is owned by Canfor and was not being used. Its not tied into the city system.
I am not sure that we were ever told that the cost to run this untried, untested, built on a hunch "thing" is close to $100,000 a month. Had it been in place from day 1 we would have had a bill of $150 grand by now. And that is over and above the $400 big ones spent on putting it in. What happens if it does not work? Do we get our money back?
Anastasia. This is well water from Canfors Well which was created to supply clear water to the pulp mills during spring run-off when the Nechako River water is dirty.

When they use this well they pump approx 10 million gallons per day.

Once again we are calling this project
a success before it has been evaluated. You would think that they would wait awhile until they get some actual results.
Can you imagine if this happened in lotus land. Look at all the rucus when a few trees blew down in Stanley Park. Maybe Jimmy will send us some money.

On the subject of Stanley Park, It was made out to be a major disaster but in reality only a small percentage of the park was affected. A bit of a scam going on there.
Is the emperor not wearing clothes? or is it just me?
Is the emperor not wearing clothes? or is it just me?
?? Sorry- I don't get it?
"Once again we are calling this project
a success before it has been evaluated. You would think that they would wait awhile until they get some actual results."
Heaven forbid we have any optimism. We all should be just waiting for the spring thaw like palapoo. When it works it will be "the river would have stayed open no matter what" and that "there is no proof this helped"
Is it just me, or are there a lot more personal attacks over other people's postings lately?
You havent got it quite right red2b but you are close. The Fraser is frozen for 20 of 30 kilometres South of the Simon Fraser Bridge. It is also frozen between the Simon Fraser Bridge and the CN Rail Bridge with a channel kept open on the East side by the warm water released from the Pulp Mills, however this channel disapears South of the Simon Fraser. More warm water release from the Intercon Pumphouse could in fact open up a channel on the West side of the Fraser that might extend the open channel further South. So what?

The water is already running from both the Fraser and Nechako under the ice. It has been doing so since the last jam. It will continue to run under the ice until spring,this is normal for a frozen river. If it wasnt so we would be flooded out by now, and we still might be if we get another serious jam, which could be at the confluence.

My point is, is that the Mayor is referring to the warm water release as a solution to the problem, rather than waiting to see if it actually works. The Amphy was also a solution which was stopped from working one day early, never worked a 24 hour shift, cost us approx $3500.00 per hour. If this machine was a solution then it should be working to clear a channel from the Simon Fraser Bridge to the CN Rail bridge, and it should be used to clear the Jam at the CN Bridge. Instead it is being loaded on a truck and sent back to Montreal or NB.

Why would you get rid of a machine that could clear the Jam at the CN Rail bridge?
Why would you release him one day early at a cost of $42,000.00. Could it be because they came to the conclusion that there was little or no net benefit in keeping him here???
The ice jammed at the bottom of the Nechako created a dam, stopping the full flow of water, causing flooding. The Amphidex opened up a channel allowing the water to flow freely into the Fraser. The water is now flowing. The ice that was jammed and contributing to the dam, was flowing into and down the Fraser until the cold weather 'closed' it off. The water, however, is still flowing from the Nechako, to the Fraser and down the Fraser under the ice.
The amphidex did it's job (opening a channel).
Kinsley actually said he is confident it (warm water) will work and will help to mitigate the flood risks.
With about 22 kilometers of ice frazzle sitting on the Nechako, and the Fraser frozen over I don't think it would have been much use keeping the Amphidex around any longer- it did it's job.