Work on dam under way

Work to decommission the dam at Marshall lake began on Sept. 9 and expected to wrap up on the 15th.

Equipment atop the Providence Dam at Marshall Lake working to decommission the dam with the result the the lake will now return to it’s natural level.

Equipment atop the Providence Dam at Marshall Lake working to decommission the dam with the result the the lake will now return to it’s natural level.

Decommissioning of the Providence Dam at Marshall Lake began last week.

According to Tara White, Senior Fisheries Biologist for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations the work began on Thursday, Sept. 9 and is expected to end on the 15th.

According to the government, Providence Dam no longer meets provincial or Canadian dam safety standards and has outlived it’s original purpose to supply water to the Phoenix Mine and that a dam failure has the potential to impact the entire community of Greenwood. So to ensure the public’s safety, the dam is being decommissioned.

The plan calls for a 46-metre opening at the top of the 30-metre high dam with sloping sides down to a four-metre spillway at the base (the dam is currently 110 metres long). This is the minimum amount of removal that will meet dam safety regulations and allow the Ministry of Environment Fisheries Section to be clear of their responsibility for maintenance and liability.

Providence Dam has been designated a high consequence dam, with potential for loss of life, substantial economic, social, environment or cultural loss if the dam were to fail.

White confirmed that the lake had to be drawn down about three meters because it had partially recharged from the level if was dropped to last fall when the level was pumped down to the natural level it was at before the dam when in.

Work being done this year includes an access road to the cabin on the Gottselig land and possibly some fencing.

White said in her email that a ramp was recently constructed to improve lake access for fishing, that a dock is scheduled to be installed by 2014 and that the lake will continue to be stocked annually with rainbow trout.