Damaged Primary Cable



Photo: Ian Weir © 2014 Used by permission by Atco Electric/Grande Prairie

This primary cable (pictured below the secondary) was as some people believe, damaged before the water at high pressure damaged it further, but regardless if it was damaged or not it should’nt have been hit with how every many psi did hit, which was probably more than the suggested 1500 psi when working around buried power cables.

It was in a common ditch, which in this day and age is a common practice in newer subdivisions and developments, where primary power and secondary cables as well telecommunication utilities are buried together in a ditch. Gas-line’s are usually buried a meter away from everything else.

The person(s) that were hydrovacing at the time got away their lives and with only minor injuries to one of the parties. It could have been much worse, causing death to both of them.


Secondary Cable That Has Been Damaged By High Pressure Water



Photo Courtesy of Atco Electric/ Grande Prairie

This cable could have been damaged before the high pressure water hit it but who’s to say, but in all likelihood it was’nt.

It is recommenced that when working around primary and secondary electric cables that your pressure is at 1500 PSI and your water temperature is at 70 degrees. Any higher pressure and hotter temperatures will rip open the outer coating of both in a matter of seconds.


More on hydrovacing buried power cables in future posts.

Not Your Average Winter In Grande Prairie

The local newspaper ran a story on Jan 2 2014 about the winter we have been having in the Grande Prairie area. Record-breaking snowfall

In December alone, the city has seen nearly 125 cm of snowfall compared to the average 32 cm that falls every year, said Bill McMurtry, Meteorologist with Environment Canada in Calgary.

“So, almost four times the amount of snow that we typically have in the month of December. And that is a record for the month of December…” he added. “The old record was 105.2 cm, and that was set in 1980…those records go all the way back to 1922.”

In November, the city had double the average snowfall with a total 55 cm of the white stuff.

“And, when we look at the November and December period together, we’re looking at roughly around 180 cm. And that is also a record for November and December combined,” he said. “The previous record was 153.6 cm set back in 1990.”

I have’nt seen this much snow since the winter of 96, when at that time and living in the West Kootenay’s of British Columbia, we had vast amounts of snow in the valley bottom that subsequently made it almost impossible for deer to forage. Three of us from Kaslo were hired to go out and cut their natural browse down so that they could feed on it since converting them over to hay usually meant that a good portion of the deer population died of starvation converting over to the new diet.

Jagged Rock Basin

Beginning to see that any Hydrovac job south of Grande Prairie is going to be jagged rocked encounter unlike jobs in G.P. or surrounding areas.

Have done few over the course of the past seven months and every job we have run into broken jagged rocks that probably were once part of what we now know as the Canadian Rockies.

Iron fillings in valve


Iron fillings clogged valves up to the point that the pump would cavitate making it damn near impossible to Hydrovac anything. Originally we thought it was air getting into the system from an unknown source but after getting the pump fixed it continued to cavitate and upon further investigation ( dismantling the pumping ) this is what we found.’this is caused by
several things, one being not letting the system cool down after running the furnace during the winter.