Trans Mountain preps for hydrostatic test of pipeline

·2 min read

UPDATE: Trans Mountain has announced that it has delayed its planned hydrostatic testing of the due to the wildfire. It was originally scheduled to run Sept. 8 through 11. A new schedule for the testing has not been announced yet.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline will soon be getting its pressure test.

The company has set the first week of September for the next stage of the pipeline reactivation work.

This stage will see an 89-kilometre inactive section of the line from Hinton to the west boundary of Jasper National Park filled with pressurized water in a process called hydrostatic testing.

“Hydrostatic testing is a well-established industry practice used to confirm the ability of the pipeline to operate safely and determine if any repairs are needed,” stated Trans Mountain’s media representative in an email to the Fitzhugh.

The process includes filling the segment of pipe with water to predetermined limits of pressure for an extended period.

During the test, company personnel will monitor the pipeline with precise instrumentation to detect any signs of a release. If a release is detected, the test will be suspended, and the pipeline repaired.

The pipeline will pass only if it holds up to pressure at 25 per cent above its intended maximum operating level.

“Trans Mountain’s personnel will remain on standby for the duration of the test to enable rapid mobilization and response as outlined in our Reactivation Hydrostatic Test Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan,” the spokesperson added.

The public will notice increased construction activity and road traffic during testing. Traffic safety personnel will also be on-site to direct traffic as needed to ensure the safe passage of vehicles.

There will be a short period of increased noise due to the compressor equipment needed to pressure up and evacuate the pipe. This will follow approved Noise Management Plans.

The off-leash dog park in Jasper and trails will be temporarily closed for three days during the hydrotesting. There will also be temporary road closures. The public should pay attention to signage and follow their instructions.

The work is anticipated to occur between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This may be extended due to unexpected schedule changes or environmental conditions.

Editors' note: The article was updated to remove a reference to Kinder Morgan, as it no longer owns the pipeline.

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh