Pacific Science Enterprise Center - Seawater Intakes Replacement

The existing seawater intakes supporting the DFO Pacific Science Enterprise Centre require replacement to facilitate the ongoing operation of the joint federal and private scientific research facility. Three new pipes will be installed to replace two existing small diameter (250 – 315 mm) pipes which extend ~ 100 m offshore within an existing water lot tenure into Burrard Inlet, West Vancouver.


Benefits of the project include the replacement of aging/ inoperable government assets, aligning federal replacement/ maintenance schedules, optimizing infrastructure performance, and supporting the ongoing operation of the facility for the foreseeable future.


A summary of the proposed construction activities for the new intakes is provided below:

  • The three (3) seawater intake pipes will be assembled offsite and floated to the site by water.
  • Riprap at the high-water mark (HWM) will be temporarily removed using an excavator, temporarily stored above the HWM, then replaced over the pipe following its installation.
  • A trench below the existing grade will be excavated in the intertidal zone. Trenching will be planned in stages to allow for excavation and burial of the pipe in the dry, during low tide conditions. Beach materials will be removed from the trench using an excavator and will be temporarily stockpiled adjacent to the trench, avoiding vegetated areas.
  • The three intake pipes with associated ballast weights will be positioned (floating) next to one another over the alignment and submerged to the seabed, perpendicular to shore by flooding the pipe with seawater, using a pump fitted with a screened intake.
  • The intake pipes will be installed in the excavated trench and the spoil material will be used to backfill and bury the intake pipes.
  • Excavation of a subtidal trench from lower low water will be completed using a barge mounted excavator, clamshell dredge and/or diver dredging/jetting.


To minimize disturbance to habitat, the partial removal of existing intake pipes during the decommissioning process is proposed. This would involve excising unburied sections of the existing pipes. A summary of this process is outlined below:

  • Divers will locate where the old pipes daylight from the seabed, attach a hoisting strap, cut the old pipe, and remove the old pipe from the site.
  • The remaining portion(s) of the pipe that are buried may be capped and left in place.


The intakes are anticipated to operate for ~30-50 years at which time they would be upgraded/ decommissioned/ abandoned/ replaced/ removed. No expansions are anticipated over the design life of the infrastructure.


A qualified Environmental Monitor (EM) will be on site as required to assess potential risks to the environment and monitor the effectiveness of mitigation measures implemented during construction.


Latest update

November 6, 2022 – The public comment period on the project and its potential for causing adverse effects is closed. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is considering comments received to inform its determination on whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.



Fisheries and Oceans Canada Real Property Technical Services Pacific Region
Kevin Pate, Project Engineer
200-401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3S4
Telephone: 604-347-8430

  • Location

    • Pacific Science Enterprise Center (British Columbia)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Building and Property Development
  • Assessment Status

  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Real Property Technical Services, Pacific Region
  • Authorities

    • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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