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

Pair killed in Bamfield bus crash were 18-year-old UVic students

The victims were a young woman from Manitoba and and a young man from the U.S.

Historic Oak Bay carriage house to be restored as rental property

New owner found for Annandale carriage house

CUPE 441 applies for mediation in SD63 school dispute

Members paid less than counterparts in other districts, says CUPE 441 president

Victoria program inspires Polish student to create cigarette butt calculator

Warsaw civil engineering student creates cleanup counter to track efforts

Artistic mystery baffles Sidney

The salmon mosaic appears on a local planter near the bandshell in Beacon Park

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash on Vancouver Island

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

National weather forecasters predict average fall, cold winter

The Weather Network says precipitation will about average in most parts of Canada

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Most Read