The City of Colwood is considering upgrades to Lookout Brook Dam, which forms Lookout Lake Park. Upgrades would ensure it could withstand major earthquakes. (City of Colwood/Facebook)

Colwood eyes upgrades to shore up 60-year-old dam

City takes next steps for possible upgrades to Lookout Brook Dam

A dam dating back decades in Colwood is being looked at for upgrades after an assessment determined it is not up to current safety standards.

Lookout Brook Dam was built in 1958 by a private forestry operation, according to a City of Colwood staff report.

A residential area is downstream of the dam and the spillway route moves west through a residential area in Langford.

The Dam Safety Branch of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Sustainability rated Lookout Brook Dam as a high consequence dam due to the amount of residents who could be affected should it fail. In 2017, an engineering consultant assessed its stability and determined it needs remedial measures in order to be brought up to current safety standards according to the Water Sustainability Act.

READ ALSO: Colwood’s Lookout Lake gets spring cleaning

Upgrades to the dam are also necessary in order to ensure it can withstand a major earthquake.

Lookout Lake, held in place by the dam, is a local swimming spot where many residents go for a refreshing dip in the summer. The lake is stocked with fish for recreational fishing as well.

Currently, the City performs weekly inspections of the dam and water levels to record any changes.

At Monday’s council meeting, Colwood council unanimously moved to proceed with preparations of a preliminary design to upgrade the dam and keep the lake intact. The design would look at a rockfill buttress on the upstream and downstream slopes of the dam, protected it in the event of a major earthquake. It would cost the city about $1.3 million.

An invitation has also been extended to a geotechnical engineer to attend a future committee of the whole meeting to respond to questions from council.

READ ALSO: Colwood considers doggie poop bag dispensers for Lookout Lake

Staff will also apply for a grant from the Union of BC Municipalities’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund. A staff report says the project would be eligible for up to $750,000.

“It’s really clear that this is a jewel in the community and I think the positives for keeping that park far outweighs everything,” said Coun. Gordie Logan at Monday’s meeting.

Logan said in addition to work on the dam, he hopes Colwood can view this as an opportunity to make the lake “more user friendly and more accessible for young families” by making small upgrades to the beach.

Next steps for Colwood staff are to prepare and provide preliminary designs and obtain cost estimates for the rockfill buttress work. Those details are expected to come back to Council before the grant application deadline of Oct. 25, according to a City of Colwood spokesperson.

All decisions moving forward will be pending the outcome of the grant application which will not be known until early next year.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

BREAKING: VicPD investigates stabbing near Selkirk Montessori school

Victim in potentially life-threatening condition

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

Fire crews called to home near Beacon Park

Victoria police and fire departments are on scene in the 900 block… Continue reading

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read