Enbridge to pump water from Chub Lake to test pipelineIf anyone notices the water level of Chub Lake dropping ever so slightly in coming weeks, don’t panic. Enbridge Energy has obtained a permit to pump some 7 million gallons of water out of Chub Lake sometime in mid-February to hydrotest a portion of its new pipeline.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
If anyone notices the water level of Chub Lake dropping ever so slightly in coming weeks, don’t panic. Enbridge Energy has obtained a permit to pump some 7 million gallons of water out of Chub Lake sometime in mid-February to hydrotest a portion of its new pipeline, according to Lorraine Grymala, manager of public affairs for Enbridge’s liquid operations and projects. She said Enbridge generally tests new pipeline construction in 20-mile segments.
Grymala clarified such testing is a normal part of the construction process, and she emphasized that area residents and those who utilize the lake will likely not even notice when the pumping is done.
“We need a water source to test out the new pipeline,” explained Grymala, “and in this case, the closest and most available source of water happens to be Chub Lake.”
She said Enbridge first had to obtain several regulatory permits, which the company has now completed, before proceeding with the pumping and testing operation.
She said the water will be extracted from the lake sometime in February utilizing a pump enclosed in an “ice shack-type” enclosure that should not be patently apparent to residents, ice fishermen or others utilizing the frozen lake. She added the water will be filtered through a mesh screen as it is extracted from the lake to keep out fish and vegetation, and the water will then be pumped back into the lake at the conclusion of the approximately four-week testing procedure.
All equipment will then be sanitized and inspected before reuse to prevent any possible spread of Eurasion milfoil, which was discovered in Chub Lake last fall.
Depending on the pace of pipeline construction, Grymala said the timing of the testing procedure may coincide with the Cloquet Rotary’s annual “Hook-n-Slice on Ice” event on Chub Lake, slated for Saturday, Feb. 14, and/or the Carlton Chamber of Commerce ice fishing contest, set for Sunday, Feb. 15.
“We have been in contact with organizers of both events,” said Grymala, “regarding where they expect most of their activities to take place. We’re certain if our two operations should happen to coincide, we can work around it.”
Grymala said the pumping operation will likely take place near the Chub Lake public landing, and she added personnel will be on hand to monitor the surrounding ice conditions when the water is later pumped back in, since the procedure can sometimes thin out the surrounding ice somewhat. If necessary, she said a barrier will be set up until the ice returns to its normal density.