Impacts and Recovery in a Coldwater Stream Following a Natural Gas Pipeline Crossing Installation PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
Paul G. Anderson

Alliance Pipeline Ltd., Calgary, AB, Canada

Christian G. J. Fraikin

Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB, Canada

Trevor J. Chandler

Ecological Services Group, Guelph, ON, Canada

Paper No. IPC1998-2120, pp. 1013-1022; 10 pages
  • 1998 2nd International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 2: Design and Construction; Pipeline Automation and Measurement; Environmental Issues; Rotating Equipment Technology
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, June 7–11, 1998
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4023-8
  • Copyright © 1998 by ASME


Findlay Creek is a small, coldwater stream which was crossed by a natural gas pipeline using conventional open-cut techniques in late August 1992. Pipeline crossing activities included the removal of a beaver dam which was located along the proposed alignment, the installation of a temporary road crossing, and the actual pipeline installation. A monitoring study was initiated to examine the impacts of pipeline construction on this stream including changes in the physical and biological regimes of the aquatic ecosystem. Results of this study indicate that the dramatic sediment loads (suspended sediment levels of up to 3000 mg/L) caused by pipeline construction were sufficient to cause changes to the channel morphology as well as the fish and invertebrate communities. By twelve weeks post-construction, partial recovery of habitats and aquatic communities was apparent. Changes to the physical channel parameters and the stream population structure documented in this study suggest that impacts to Findlay Creek were localized, and full recovery was documented in affected areas by the one year post construction sampling period. This study concurs with other research investigating the impacts of pipeline construction, in that impacts on the aquatic fauna appear to be localized in extent and short term in duration.

Copyright © 1998 by ASME
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