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Surface Water Transfer Operations

August 1, 2019

Surface water transfer operations occur at work sites throughout Alberta and involve moving large volumes of water through a hose or collapsible pipe, typically for many kilometers. Although these may include oilfield operations, the application is diverse and may occur in construction, flood or drought mitigation, remediation, capital construction projects and disaster recovery.

Companies working in this sub-sector may use these videos for:

  • Onboarding new employees
  • Reviewing general work site hazards
  • Part of a toolbox talk
  • A guide to continuous safety improvement.

The videos review the general hazards found in water transfer operations, and each video is between 4 ½ and 7 minutes long. Workers may want to more review them at a tailgate meeting or before starting tasks they have not performed recently.

Module 1: Pumps and Pressure

Water transfer operations use large pumps to move water and fluids. These devices can store and release large amounts of hazardous energy, which need to be understood and respected.

Module 2: Heaters

Bulk water heaters ensure water does not freeze while being transported long distances. Their energy output is significant and has the potential to lead to serious incidents.

Module 3: Pigging Operations

Pigging is one of the most hazardous aspects of water transfer operations. It involves clearing the lines using air pressure and pigs to purge the lines of water.

Module 4: Deployment and Pick-Up Operations

This module focuses on the deployment and retrieval of equipment used in water transfer operations. Major incidents and life-altering injuries have resulted from this activity.

Module 5: Water Body and Ice Operations

Over 50 fatalities are reported every year in Canada from work and recreation on ice. No one plans to fall through the ice or enter the water, but it can happen and the hazards must be understood.

Module 6: Water Storage Devices

Bulk storage of water is the end of the line for many water transfer operations. These units can take many forms, are massive, and require preparation and care to set up.

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