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Dam safety upgrades complete, popular swimming spot in Colwood opens

Lookout Lake to be restocked with fish in March
Colwood’s Lookout Lake is now up to code for safety requirements if a major earthquake takes place. The upgrades include a gentler slope into the swimming spot and fish spawning gravel to create a fish enhancement area. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

As weather patterns bring flooding to the forefront, a Colwood dam is up to code to avoid such damage if a major earthquake hits.

Closed for work since October 2020, Lookout Lake now meets the required safety requirements for its dam, built in 1958.

The Lookout Brook Dam was rated as a high consequence dam in 2017, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Sustainability. If it failed during a seismic event, water would freely flow towards homes along Maureen Terrace and Sunheights Drive and further down a sloped hill.

The popular swimming spot now features more flat areas to lay out a blanket and a gentler slope to the water’s edge. For safety, natural fencing on the downstream slope on the opposite side of the lake. Several large logs, roots and gravel were used to create a fish habitat enhancement area.

In August 2019, it was decided city staff would go ahead with a design for a rock fill buttress option to shore up the dam on both the upstream and downstream slopes. The water levels were lowered by pumps and contractors built up rock materials on the slopes of the dam, ensuring that the lake holds in place.

READ MORE: Colwood dam upgrades projected to be under budget

The project was completed with funding from the UBCM Community Emergency Preparedness Fund and upgrades are projected to come in under budget. This means council may consider park upgrades, including trail improvements, a washroom or additional seating before they present final 2021 budget plans in May.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC plans to stock the lake with rainbow trout in March.

ALSO READ: Colwood’s Lookout Lake gets spring cleaning

– with files from Shalu Mehta


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