The Puntledge River Hatchery is located in Courtenay, BC and is supplied with high-pressure water from Comox Lake.  

The Puntledge River was once renowned by sports fishermen for its two vigorous races of chinook salmon. The Puntledge River Hatchery boasted both summer and fall runs of these majestic salmon as well as significant numbers of other salmon species and steelhead trout. The hatchery was constructed to save these chinook from extinction and to rebuild other species to healthy levels. Most recently, strong Puntledge River chum returns have attracted large numbers of recreational fishers from across Vancouver Island.

Water Street Engineering Ltd. (WSE) was engaged by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to complete a feasibility assessment for an energy recovery system on the Puntledge River Hatchery’s water supply.  The supply to the hatchery has excess water pressure that is currently reduced at a series of control valves in the facility’s aeration building.  The feasibility assessment showed that installation of a pump-as-turbine installation in the hatchery aeration building was feasible and cost effective means of reducing DFO's energy costs under BC Hydro's Net Metering Program. 

WSE subsequently completed detailed design of the turbine package and piping upgrades including a process narrative highlighting the proposed operation of the revised supply system for the hatchery.   The 100 kW installation is now operational and is expected to produce 700 MWh per year fully offsetting the hatchery's electrical use.


Client: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Client Contact: Tim Renaud

Consulting Team:

  • Water Street Engineering Ltd. - Feasibility, Mechanical, and Civil Design

  • Strutherstech - Electrical

  • Gygax Engineering Associates - Structural

  • Golder Associates - Technical Review

  • PBX Engineering - Project Management