Disheartening that thousands of board feet of old growth Douglas fir staves are considered worthless

As a retired BC Hydro employee who was involved with some studies of the John Hart generating system over the years, I read the recent article about the dismantling of the old wooden penstocks with great interest.

They are a fine example of past wooden construction techniques and it is impressive that they provided some 70 plus years of reliable service.

The down side of the article was that the wood from the penstocks is going to be “disposed of” because it was coated with creosote preservative. I found it disheartening that thousands of board feet of staves made from old growth Douglas Fir are considered worthless because they have a creosote coating.

I am assuming that creosote was only applied to the outer surface of the penstock staves, otherwise, we in Campbell River will have been drinking creosoted water all of these years. I am also assuming that the penstock staves are several inches thick (at least 4” to 6”) to provide adequate structural integrity. Given that the creosote coating will only have penetrated the outer surface of the wood (perhaps as much as 1”), I can’t help but wonder why these boards would not have significant value and application if the outer inch or so was simply cut off using an on-site portable mill. The remaining vintage fir could be used for a variety of construction and/or finishing applications.

Of course, there will be a certain percentage of boards that have deteriorated beyond salvage value. However, a little creativity and personal will could provide much of this wood with a “second chance at life.” Perhaps the project manager needs to re-think this decommissioning project.

Marv Everett, retired

Campbell River

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP issue statement in support of a peaceful rally and against racism

The Campbell River RCMP issued a statement in support of a peaceful… Continue reading

Road maintenance work scheduled for Black Creek and Quadra Island

Spring roadside work will be in progress along Highway 19 A and Granite Bay Road on multiple days

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Campbell River karate instructor takes lessons outside the dojo

Northwest Shito-Kai’s Nigel Nikolaisen embracing alternative teaching methods during pandemic

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read