To develop the caverns for the Alton Natural Gas Storage facility, naturally occurring salt must be removed from the ground. A well is drilled into the existing salt formation and tidal water from the Shubenacadie River is cycled through the cavern to dissolve the salt in the deposit. The combination of tidal water and additional salt, called brine, is cycled back up the well, leaving an empty space for natural gas storage.


The brine will be pumped to a holding pond. The holding pond allows for the controlled release of brine into the river at an appropriate time.

The brine will be released into the Alton Channel, a channel adjacent and connected to the Shubenacadie River, where it will mix with the tidal (brackish) river water. The requirements of our monitoring program with Nova Scotia Environment, Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will ensure that the released brine will not impact the ecosystem of the Shubenacadie River.

The tidal Shubenacadie River naturally experiences a range of salt concentrations. The brine that will be released into the river will be within the range of salinities normally experienced in the river.

What to expect during construction: