An example of what the new boom will look like. (BC Hydro)

An example of what the new boom will look like. (BC Hydro)

New boom for Kootenay Canal

Construction of a new steel boom on the Kootenay Canal will take place in the spring.

BC Hydro has announced plans to replace the current deteriorating log boom at the Kootenay Canal and Generating Station.

Kootenay Canal is located on the Kootenay River between the communities of Castlegar and Nelson. The log boom is located approximately 250 metres upstream of the canal headworks.

The purpose of the boom is to protect the canal and power intakes from damage caused by floating debris. This is especially important at the Kootenay Canal as BC Hydro explained in a press release: “At Kootenay Canal, debris also has the potential to damage the special lining in the canal that was recently installed to manage dam safety risks. This could lead to increased risks to the safety and integrity of the canal.”

The new boom will be made of steel instead of logs like the previous one.

“We are moving towards new materials and designs that are expected to provide improved longevity, performance and public safety,” explained BC Hydro. “The new boom will be made out of steel, which we expect to have a longer lifespan and superior performance.”

It will also include enhanced public safety features, improved signage and markings.

Construction is expected to begin in February or March 2018 with completion by April.

BC Hydro does not expect the project to have any fish or wildlife impacts as the “work is not expected to involve disturbance of the river bed or other fish and wildlife habitat.”

The company also does not expect any issues with archaeological or heritage sites, as they are not aware of any located in close proximity to the boom and the plans include using the existing shore anchors to minimize ground disturbance.

“If new anchors or development of previously undisturbed ground is required, we will perform an Archaeological Impact Assessment to identify sites of potential heritage interest,” assured BC Hydro.