Spillway withstands spring flows

Lake Country investment into Vernon Creek spillway pays off

  • Jun. 22, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Bobbi-Sue Menard

Black Press

It has been a wet, wet week in Lake Country and on one front, infrastructure investments by the district are paying off.

Two years ago, the Vernon Creek spillway was upgraded as part of its lifespan maintenance.  During the wet weeks of June this year, the magnificent rooster tail of water created by the spillway has been visual proof the upgrades are working as planned.

The week of June 9 to June 12 saw water flowing at a rate of 7,620 litres per second over the spillway.  It created a rooster tail of water from energy dissipaters that protect the plunge pool at the bottom of the spillway.

“This is the second highest flow I’ve seen in the past 18 years that I’ve been here,” said Michael Mercer, director of engineering.

The 2010 upgrade project was worth $150,000.

Vernon Creek is consistently monitored by Lake Country district staff.

The spillway is considered to be an important part of the flood mitigation strategy for the creek and the project has proven its worth.

“Otherwise, we may have been reporting on a much different outcome,” said Mercer.

“Structure failure on Vernon Creek could have had serious implications.

“But the spillway is operating safely and as intended.”