Submitted by Akilah Dressekie, Enbridge Gas Distribution
Fenelon Falls is one big step closer to having natural gas flowing to more than 1,000 homes and businesses in the community.
From November 27th to December 6th, Enbridge crews worked together to install a 338 metre pipeline beneath the Fenelon River using a specially designed Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD). This method is used to build pipelines that cross sensitive areas like roads or waterways, and involves drilling a pathway under the river and essentially pulling the pipeline underneath. It’s also one of the most environmentally safe ways to install a natural gas pipeline as it eliminates the need for equipment to enter the water, leaving little to no impact on area wildlife.
The success of the HDD was critical to the future of the Fenelon Falls project. A “drill shot” - the process of drilling the hole where the pipe would be pulled through – requires informed planning, as there is sometimes only one chance to ensure a successful first attempt so that the pipe is installed in the least intrusive manner.
“This is a significant milestone for the Fenelon Falls project. The success of this pipe installation means that there’s virtually nothing stopping us from getting natural gas to the rest of this community,” explained Jeff Mantej, Construction and Project Manager of Critical Infrastructure at Enbridge Gas Distribution.
Work leading up to this event started in 2017 when crews bored holes through the layers of rock deep found beneath the earth’s surface where the pipe needed to be installed, allowing them to examine the rock and assess its strength. All of this information would help Enbridge to design the HDD needed for this project, ensuring that the drilling could be done in one single attempt. As the drill’s equipment bored through the rocky surface beneath the river, it carefully pulled the pipe through.
“Very few people in our company get to see something like this, so it’s very exciting for us,” explained Mantej.
The community’s excitement about the project’s progress was clear to Mantej when, despite the loud noise coming from the drill and other construction equipment, crowds would come out each day to watch the crew at work.
“The community has been so supportive. I’ve never worked on a project where people were so happy. Natural gas coming to Fenelon Falls will be a big life-changer to the community.”
Enbridge anticipates that the entire project will be complete by the end of winter 2019. Residents are also reminded that the offer to connect your natural gas service at no additional cost ends June 28th .
Sign up now to qualify by visiting www.enbridgegas.com/connect, or by calling 1-888-427-8888. Other costs, including furnace conversion fees, are not included.
On behalf of Enbridge Gas, we thank the residents of Fenelon Falls for their support during this project, and wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!