Lake Country engineering department manager Michael Mercer looks through material dumped by a contractor at Jack Seaton Park.

Lake Country engineering department manager Michael Mercer looks through material dumped by a contractor at Jack Seaton Park.

Drain residue dumping a concern

District of Lake Country staff may look into alternate plans to dump material from cleaned out ditches

  • Apr. 4, 2014 11:00 a.m.

KEVIN PARNELL

Black Press

District of Lake Country staff may look into alternate plans to dump material from cleaned out ditches and storm drains after using a small stretch of park for the process.

Each year for the past four years, the district’s engineering department has been dumping material from ditches and storm drains on a small portion of Jack Seaton Park, near Camp Road, after its annual spring clean-up.

But Steve Schaffrick, the district’s director of community and customer services, says they will likely have an internal discussion about the practice in the future.

“The amount of material is not a big concern, we can still grade it and shape it and make it look decent,” said Schaffrick.

“If there is going to be a lot more material I think we maybe do need to find a different home at some point. We just can’t keep going back to the same spot so we will probably have to have that discussion.”

Last month, a nearby resident expressed concern with the practice after he watched a contractor dump material  from storm drains at the park. The resident questioned why the dumping was happening near a natural pond in the park.

But Michael Mercer, engineering department manager, said the pond in question is a natural marsh, not a fish-bearing stream, and the material is not being left close enough to the pond to have an impact.

Schaffrick said in past years, the marsh has been the focus of district plans to beautify the area under the Communities in Bloom contest.

Another pond just past the marsh is a detention pond built by the engineering department to help with drainage, said Schaffrick.

The district says having a place to store the organic material is valuable to save money in trucking costs as opposed to taking the material to the Glenmore landfill.

“If we can find some efficiencies for (engineering) without impacting the park in a negative way we will do that,” said Schaffrick, who added they will likely seed the area and plant some native species of trees.

“Over the next five to 10 years it will become another usable area of the park.”

Coun. Lisa Cameron said she doesn’t have a problem with what’s happening at the park.

“It’s a dirt parking lot and in the spring, it’s a full mud bog and it’s been like that for years,” said Cameron.

“We have parks working together with engineering to save the community money.”