As flood waters rose in June 2013, the southeastern part of the Bow River and its offshoots swelled, submerging picnic areas and pathways at Calgary's Fish Creek Provincial Park, including the Mallard Point day use area, where masses of natural and man-made debris covered the banks.
When the water receded, broken poles, anchors, wires and conductors were piled on top of one another in small mountains of debris. A tangle of 12 power lines, each approximately 120 feet, were twisted amongst the rubble and snared in the water. Much of the wreckage came from ENMAX Power's Substation which was surrounded by water during the flood, with many of its poles and wires washed away by the rushing river.
"It's our responsibility to collect our own assets," explained Brent Rogers, Leadhand, ENMAX Power, who was a project inspector at the time, "but we could see that there was other garbage and debris in the area, so we gained permission from Alberta Parks to remove that as well, making the area clean and safe for public use."
The clean-up was not without its challenges. Because motorized vehicles aren't allowed in many areas of the park, crews had to cross the river channel on foot and manually cut four poles into sections before floating them back across the river to be removed. ENMAX liaised with Alberta Parks to gain access to the area and developed a Construction Environmental Management Plan to identify and mitigate potential impacts to the natural habitat.
Within two days, crews had pulled eight dump-truck loads of poles, conductors, wires and other debris from the water and shoreline. Once the clean-up was complete, the ENMAX team scattered natural debris in the area to help return it to its formal state.
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