City approves dam upgrade

The City of Penticton will take steps to upgrade the stability of a civic dam on Penticton Creek located directly upstream from the municipality’s water treatment plant.

Council voted unanimously Monday to pay Knight Piésold Consulting $83,650 to design a “remediation solution” for Penticton 2 Dam.

Subject to council’s 2012 budget approval, the company will also manage construction work on the dam for a total remuneration of $174,820.

Mayor Dan Ashton stressed that there was no immediate threat from the dam.

“If it were in a dire situation we wouldn’t be sitting where we are at,” he said. “This is a program that staff have recommended that we are going through and that is what is taking place. In my view, we are being proactive.”

The city’s director of operations Mitch Moroziuk collaborated Ashton’s assurances.

“We have an annual dam inspection process that we do,” he said. “We do inspect our dams on a regular basis.”

According to Moroziuk, a 2007 detailed testing and inspection of the dam recommended that its “concrete abutments be reinforced to meet current dam safety regulations.”

It was also determined, said Moroziuk, that if the structure were to fail, the consequences would be “extreme.”

“The extreme classification indicates that there would be a large number of fatalities and extreme damages financially and environmentally if this dam were to fail,” explained city public works manager Len Robson in a report. “The classification is determined by a professional engineer based on the criteria and guidelines set by the Canadian Dam Association.”

Robson reported that Knight Piésold Consulting specializes in geotechnical engineering relating to dam structures.

“They have been providing engineering services with the city since 1993 on projects relating to the city’s dam infrastructure, giving them a comprehensive understanding of the city’s inventory,” he said.

“Dam Structures are a specialized engineering field to which there are only a few qualified companies that provide this type of service in Canada. Knight Piésold has a comprehensive understanding of the Penticton Creek Dam System which will assist them with the design of the remediation works.”

Built in 1930 with an extension added in 1939, Penticton 2 Dam is 16 metres long by 22 metres high and holds back approximately 90,000 cubic metres of water. It serves as a storage and settling structure for raw water feeding the nearby treatment plant for domestic water purposes.


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