enbridge has a number of valves on all of their pipelines. these valves are often located in more isolated/rural areas, accessible right off a maintained roadway, and surrounded by chain link with razor wire. locks can be cut by larger sets of bolt cutters [or chain link cut with smaller pairs].

*update: since a number of successful valve site occupations and nighttime sabotage actions, enbridge has added heavier reinforced chain link and lock boxes to their valve facility enclosures. while you can’t cut the chain anymore, or access the locks, you can cut through the chain link fence! also: scout appropriately beforehand. enbridge has acknowledge changes in security, which could mean anything from new chains to security patrols to cameras/motion cameras. BE SAFE!

in their line 9 filings, enbridge claims to be intending to use a double flanged electronically actuated valve manufactured by zwick. their schematics can be found here.

while it appears the majority of older manual valves have been converted to electronically actuated valves, operational/functional manual valves do still exist on the line. enbridge claims only 3 are still existing – all near or in quebec [KP 3458.31, KP 3483.12 & KP 3500], however this is not true. there is at least one other near so-called sarnia [KP 2816.37] off mandaumin road and may be more.

*update: enbridge will be converting the mandaumin road valve, but have no fear – that means they will need to shut off line 9 at one point, and electronic valve have been successfully operated. see here and this handy drawing that was submitted to the site through an anonymous email [i.e. we can’t confirm it’s accuracy]. in that email, it was also noted that different valves may have slightly different electronic interfaces.

there are 3 sources for valve listings, none of them appearing complete or wholly accurate:

  1. land surveys/pipeline maps can be manually checked for existing valve locations marked with a yellow dot.
  2. this list of “new” or converted valves [page 26]
  3. this filing, showing valve locations related to water crossings.


manual vs. electronic actuation

a manual valve is only operated by a manual hand wheel, while electronically actuated valves are operated by electricity – either from remotely, or on site if switched to manual operation. the manual hand wheel will not operate the valve unless the power is off or the valve is on manual/on-site operation.

they’re fairly easy to tell apart – manual valves just have an encasement and hand wheel, while electric valves will have a hand wheel, encasement, electric cords attaching to the bottom with hex-bolts, and sometimes other measuring equipment.

other notes

what is known is that electronic-actuated valves rely on a power source, and in so-called canada are mandated to have a backup power source to move the valve into a “closed” position during a power failure [called “fail-to-safe”].

additionally, enbridge has previously submitted that using a manual valve to turn off a pipeline can take between 10-15 minutes of rotation, so go prepared for a workout.

*update: enbridge has removed the handwheels on the manual valves of line 9. you can cast the bolt size and create your own wheel, however – or find an appropriately sized tool [the bolt is bigger than you think. cast it with a pie pan and clay or something similar!].