Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site of Canada

Natural Wonders & Cultural Treasures

Vegetable oils for the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue locks:

Substituting hydraulic mineral fluids with vegetable oils to operate the canal locks

Closing of upper gates
Closing of upper gates
© Parks Canada

Since 1965, the gates of the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue locks, have been operated by a mechanism powered by internal hydraulic pressure. Until very recently, the hydraulic lubricants required to maintain this mechanism were of mineral origin. In the event of a spill or leak, these fluids were harmful to the environment (e.g. accumulation of hydrocarbons and other contaminants in the food chain, alteration of water quality).

Under Environment Canada's Enviroclub OM Program for Federal Facilities , Parks Canada conducted a pollution prevention project in March 2002, replacing the hydraulic mineral oils used at the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue locks with GREENPLUS-brand vegetable-based oils.

GREENPLUS oils meet with all the operating standards applicable to lock doors, and are only slightly more expensive than mineral oils. In addition, they stand up well to the prevailing weather conditions in Quebec province. These oils have been put to the test at the TrentSevern Canal in Ontario since 1996, producing conclusive results. In case of an accidental leak, GREENPLUS oils pose a significantly reduced risk to the environment.

For additional information on the Enviroclub OM for Federal Facilities or pollution prevention, please consult the Web site of the Environmental Protection Branch of Environment Canada - Quebec Region at: http://environmentcanada.gc.ca.