Friday, March 11, 2016

Why Are We Spending Millions On New Spillway?

It looks like the water level is getting pretty high, but it has to be about one metre higher to actually be overtopping the dam.

Even with recent rains that have caused widespread flooding in some areas, the dreaded hazard at Colliery Dam is still about one metre from happening.

The recent torrential downpour causing flooding and clogged storm drains, and grief for the RDN's sanitary sewer at Hammond Bay would still have to raise the level of the lower pond at Colliery Dams by about one more metre (a huge volume of water) before the dam would actually overtop.

If that most unlikely event (overtopping) should occur, it was never proven that the dam would actually fail. That was the unproven problem those leading the study at city hall headed by Mr. Seward never took the time to determine. Rather, incomplete data was submitted to the DSS who ordered (perhaps being persuaded by city staff)  the city to build the auxiliary spillway for a cost of at least $5 million.

The near lunacy of this whole boondoggle is the fact it addresses an unproven problem and even if the new spillway actually has some water flowing down it, all that flooding water ends in the same place anyway. No flooding has been mitigated by this horrendous waste of tax dollars.

Most of the senior city staff and members of previous council's who started this whole boondoggle are nowhere to be found at city hall. Hmmmmmmm.



  1. To be clear just how far out the City has stretched this cry of urgent safety hazard needing immediate remediation, even if the water should rise to a level above the dam crest it would have to rise at least another 40 to 80 cms (for a total of 2.6 meters above the bottom of the spillway)and continue to flow at that level for several days before it would cause the embankment to erode away. Even then like you point out Jim there is NO engineering supported study (except for saying: "the wall would likely fail") that the concrete core wall would not be able to stand on its own for some time. It's out of control!
    Cliff Marcil

  2. This DAM claim is ridiculous. Every other municipality when faced with a potential breach of a levee or riverbank deploys a work crew or two and a pile of sandbags.

    To spend $5M plus $3M on studies is stupid. Tell DSS to take a short walk off the edge of the AUX Spillway.


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