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When properly installed, this type of facility may not have any significant environmental impacts. Fewer impacts (and restrictions) result if these works are also proposed outside of the critical fish spawning/nursery periods and away from significant wetlands. Licensing of these works will be required to ensure that there are no adverse impacts to navigation, cultural resources or the environment.

Possible implications resulting from improper installation of heat pump loops can be:

  • Disruption or minor alteration of fish spawning sites;
  • Increased erosion of shorelines;
  • Short-term turbidity in the water;
  • Loss of emergent aquatic vegetation during the installation;
  • Damage to the line or loop resulting from ice movement;
  • A hazard to navigation if installed improperly or at too shallow a depth.

Heat pump loops are routinely approved when the following policies are addressed in the application.


  1. Installation of heat pump loops must not occur during fish spawning activity.
  2. Removal of shoreline vegetation shall be minimized.
  3. Heat pump loops may have to be trenched into the bed or laid in a minimum depth of water to protect them from ice damage. Any excavation of the shoreline to accommodate the heat pump loop must be stabilized to prevent erosion.
  4. Excavated material from the bed must be placed upland a minimum of 15 m (50 ft.) back from the high water mark and stabilized to prevent it from re-entering the water.
  5. Material used to cover the submarine cable or heat pump loop on the bed must be clean imported material free of silts and organic debris.

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