Niagra Escarpment Commission

Construction Information


This depends on the road and the municipal approval. For large areas we cannot generally specify which side of the road we intend to be on. For specifics, we’re happy to answer inquiries.

We typically use Pedestals, they are green and the colour we use attempts to blend in. They are located along the path typically every 500ft or at intersecting roads. We’re committed to adhering to aesthetic standards to ensure the project aligns with the community's values.

As part of our environmental commitment, we conduct thorough assessments to minimize impacts on local flora, particularly trees. It's important to note that we exclusively construct mainline infrastructure within the municipal right of way. For lateral connections to homes, our design process prioritizes avoiding any and all obstructions. During the home connection phase, we go a step further by conducting 'walk-throughs' with homeowners. This collaborative process ensures that we align with residents' preferences and take any special requests into consideration, fostering a transparent and accommodating approach to our home connections.

We are committed to providing inclusive service coverage. Feel free to send us an inquiry with your property details, and we will assess your request, ensuring accessibility for all residents. You're welcome to send us an inquiry, and we can promptly assist you.

Construction is set to commence in the spring/summer of 2024, with the entire project expected to conclude by the end of 2025. The construction will be carried out in segments, with specific areas undergoing completion within 4-8 week intervals.

We are implementing robust safety protocols, placing a strong emphasis on environmental protection. This includes measures such as spill containment and erosion control, aligning with our commitment to eco-conscious practices.

Cultural resource assessments are integral to our project planning. If any indications of ancestral remains arise, immediate cessation of work will occur, and relevant authorities will be engaged to ensure culturally sensitive and lawful handling.

Installation methods adhere to industry best practices, encompassing various techniques such as trenchless methods like Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) and vibrational plowing. These approaches are chosen for their effectiveness in minimizing surface disruption, aligning closely with our values of respect for the community and its surroundings.

Laterals will be installed with precision and care, employing a range of methods such as trenching, directional drilling, and vibrational plowing. The selection of these approaches is based on site conditions, with the primary goal of minimizing impacts on the community and its environment.

In our commitment to community cooperation, we strive to avoid blocking driveways. Should temporary disruptions be necessary, advance notice will be given, and we will work closely with affected residents to ensure alternative access, fostering a collaborative and considerate construction process.

GBTEL - Drilling

Frac-Out Contingency Plan for Horizontal Directional Drilling


Frac-Out, or inadvertent return of drilling lubricant, is a potential concern when Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is used under sensitive habitats, waterways, and areas of concern for environmental and cultural resources. The HDD procedure uses bentonite slurry, a fine clay material as a drilling lubricant. The bentonite is non-toxic and commonly used in farming practices, but benthic invertebrates, aquatic plants and fish and their eggs can be smothered by the fine particles if bentonite were discharged to the waterways.

The purpose of a Contingency Plan or “Frac-Out” plan is to:

  • Minimize the potential for a frac-out associated with the HDD activites
  • Provide for the timely detection of frac-outs ● Protect areas that are considered environmentally sensitive (ie. streams, wetlands)
  • Ensure an organized, timely, and minimal impact response in the event of a frac-out and release of drilling mud occurrance.

Contingency Response:

Once a frac-out is identified

  • All Work stops, including the pumping of drilling mud/lubricant
  • Determine the location and extent of the frac-out

If a frac-out occurs, isolate the area with sand bags, or silt fencing to surround and contain the drilling mud as best as possible. Use a vacuum system if necessary for clean-up. After frac-out is stabilized and any required removal is completed, document post-cleanup conditions with photographs and prepare a frac-out incident report describing the time, place, actions take to remediate frac-out and measures implemented to prevent recurrence.

If a frac-out occurs in the river and has been monitored the drilling will stop. Once assessed as to the the extent of the frac out, a plugging agent may be used to slow/stop the loss of fluid. Drilling will recommence and fluid loss will be closely monitored. If the volumes of loss are too high, the hole may need to be abandoned and the dill shot would have to be restarted.


Work Within Niagara Escarpment Commission

NEC Best Practices

1. Water Crossings:


The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for water crossings within the Niagara Escarpment region, with specific attention to GSCA permits and the Frac out procedure.


1.1. All water crossings within the NEC's jurisdiction require proper permits from the Gray Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA). These permits must be obtained and adhered to before any construction or disturbance near water bodies.

1.2. The Frac out procedure, as outlined by GSCA, must be followed during drilling activities to prevent the release of drilling fluids into water bodies. All personnel involved in drilling operations must be trained in the Frac out procedure and follow it diligently.

2. Disturbances within 30m of a Hydrologic Feature:


This policy aims to regulate any activities within a 30-metre proximity of hydrologic features, such as water bodies and wetlands, focusing on sediment control fencing and related measures.


2.1. Sediment control fencing, silt barriers, or equivalent measures must be erected around the perimeter of any construction site or disturbed area within 30 metres of a hydrologic feature to prevent sediment runoff into the water body.

3. Rehabilitation of Disturbed Areas:


To ensure the effective rehabilitation of areas disturbed by construction activities.


3.1. All areas disturbed by construction or drilling must be rehabilitated promptly upon completion of the project to minimise environmental impacts.

3.2. Rehabilitation measures may include re-vegetation, regrading, and restoration of the natural ecosystem, as required.

4. Discovery/Disturbance of Archaeological Resources:


To address the discovery or disturbance of archaeological resources during construction activities.


4.1. In the event of discovering any archaeological resources during construction, all work must immediately cease in the vicinity of the discovery.

4.2. The discovery of archaeological resources must be reported to the appropriate archaeological authority, and work may only resume after receiving clearance from the relevant archaeological authorities.

5. Encountering Shallow Bedrock:


To outline the procedure for encountering shallow bedrock during construction or drilling operations.


5.1. If shallow bedrock is encountered, jackhammering or equivalent methods may be employed to clear the area. The use of clean gravel and sand should follow to ensure stable ground conditions.

6. Establishing Future Lateral Connections:


To define the guidelines for establishing lateral connections for future infrastructure and home connections within the NEC region.


6.1. Lateral connections, commonly referred to as "stubs," must be installed to facilitate future tie-ins to homes and infrastructure.

6.2. These stubs should be placed at a depth of 4-12 inches and should comply with NEC guidelines for safe and efficient connections.

Compliance and Enforcement

GBTEL is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy. Violations of this policy may result in fines, penalties, or legal action(s) as stipulated by NEC regulations and the law.

Review and Amendment:

This policy will be periodically reviewed to ensure it aligns with the changing needs and regulations of the NEC. Amendments may be made as required, subject to NEC approval.

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