Lower water pressure could relieve dams

To the Editor,

Re: City overstates Harewood flood danger, Letters, Jan. 16.

Some time ago I outlined a solution that might be a consideration to resolve the controversial solution for the Colliery dams. I have not heard of this option even being discussed or considered. The operation is fairly straightforward, inexpensive and leaves the area pretty well in its natural state.

It simply involves draining the water, importing suitable fill material to displace the dangerous volume and height of water. The ‘engineered fill’ would remove the pressure and volume of the water that is currently of grave concern for the downstream residents. The fill material could consist of rock and other suitable material that is locally available. The height of the fill could be enough to allow for a shallow pool of water to form the lake surface as it is now but enough to minimize the concerns of the Dam Safety Branch. This could be a water depth of a metre at the dam end of the lake, gradually deepening towards the upstream end to create a swimming and recreation area.

It would be interesting to hear from the professional geotechnical engineers as to why this concept would not work. It would definitely save the taxpayers of Nanaimo a lot of money.

Norm Jones

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