Information Regarding Drilling Activities at Weeneebayko General Hospital
DST Consulting Engineers Inc. (DST) and Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation (IO) are providing this
information bulletin to inform community members of the Moose Cree First Nation on Moose Factory Island of the
recent drilling work that has been completed at the hospital site on Moose Factory Island.
- DST was retained by IO to complete environmental and geotechnical investigations at Weeneebayko General Hospital on Moose Factory Island and near the Health Clinic in Moosonee over the past year. This work is in support of the future development of a new hospital and other medical infrastructure. DST has worked closely with Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) during the work program.
- The most recent, ongoing work is an investigation to assess the feasibility of implementing a geothermal heating and cooling system for the future development. This investigation included drilling a borehole to a target depth of 750 feet, or 230 meters, below ground surface.
- While drilling in the bedrock (depth to bedrock in the area drilled is approximately 85 feet) – the sedimentary rock formation produced large quantities of groundwater, which at this depth was relatively clear. The drilling method causes the water to continuously reach surface.
- When the large quantities of water was discovered, drilling was halted, and measures were taken to mitigate the water diversion and potential sedimentation. A sump pit was excavated adjacent to the drilling location. From there the water was diverted to the existing ditch system at the hospital.
- Coarse rock/aggregate was placed in the ditching to prevent scouring and sedimentation.
- At approximately 550 feet, a red shale formation was encountered. The water produced from this formation produces discoloured red water, which is naturally occurring.
- After a few hours of drilling on the morning of September 30, it came to the crew’s attention that the discoloured water had flowed through the site ditching and reached the Moose River. Drilling was immediately stopped and additional soil/aggregate was brought in to control the discoloured water discharge. Within a short period of time after stopping the drilling, the ditch and any water no longer had any red discolouration.
- The drilling will not be resumed. A testing loop, consisting of a plastic hose, will be installed in the borehole and grouted in place. Any water will be controlled at the drill site and not discharged to the ditching. The thermal conductivity testing will be completed approximately 5 days following the grouting. No water will be produced/ discharged during the testing.
- It is understood that the island is currently experiencing water pressure and a boil water advisory is in effect. These issues are not a result of the drilling or the water produced during the drilling.
Questions may be emailed to DST and/or WAHA