The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)

Funds approved for structural analysis at Thirsk Dam

Crack has been found at reservoir west of Summerland

The municipality of Summerland has allocated funds for a detailed study of the cracked Thirsk Dam.

At the March 22 meeting, council approved allocating $126,542 from the water capital reserve to fund the engineering consulting services required for the structural analysis of the dam.

In addition, three projects connected with the dam have been deferred until 2022 or later.

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Structural work at the dam is needed after a horizontal crack was observed at the concrete arch dam in the fall of 2020. The crack is near the interface of the original 1941 dam and the 2007 addition. A preliminary investigation of the crack was completed on Dec. 1. The work was done by Interior Dams Inc.

Devon van der Meulen, manager of water utilities for Summerland, said Interior Dams did not have concerns with allowing the water level to rise above the cracked area. This is important since the municipality will replace the Isintok Dam outlet pipe this year, which will require lowering the reservoir in late summer. It will also require the full capacity of the Thirsk Lake reservoir.

The final stability report on Thirsk Dam will be completed by June 21.

In addition to allocating the funds for this project, the municipality will defer three projects initially planned for this year. These are the Thirsk Dam concrete protection project, valued at $45,000; the Thirsk wood debris on the spillway, valued at $50,000 and the tree removal project on downstream dam embankments, valued at $30,000.

Municipal staff will amend the financial plan to allow for the structural stability analysis of the dam to be completed.

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