Waneta Dam

  • SECTOR: Hydroelectric Energy
  • LOCATION: Trail, BC, Canada
  • DATE: 2008
  • EQUIPMENT: Track mount Fraste MDXL, track mount Fraste Mito, truck mount Mobile B-8, man-portable drill

In 2008, Geotech worked with Columbia Power to complete various phases of a geotechnical program at the Waneta Dam, located south of Trail, British Columbia. Throughout the program Geotech was involved in both a proposed tunnel expansion and a dam upgrade investigation. Over a four month period, crews worked on all components included in the dam upgrade. Prior to the dam upgrade drilling program, Geotech worked with Hatch Ltd. to complete a confined space concrete and dam base investigation; working within the internal man tunnels of the dam. Throughout the program Geotech utilized ODEX, mud rotary and HQ3 coring techniques.

Geotech provided up to four drills on the program, including a man-portable drill, track mounted Fraste MDXL drill, track mounted Fraste Mito drill, and a truck mounted Mobile B-80 drill; to reach depths of up to 300 meters.


  • Challenging space requirements


  • A specialized drill was designed and fabricated to work within the space requirements of 2.1 meters by 1.5 meters. All components were made to be man portable and manually transferred three stories down, inside the tunnels. This re-engineered drill also used .76 meter tooling, to operate within these space requirements.