Build Nova Scotia investigates Williams Lake dam
By: Cathy Vaughan
[Reprinted with permission from Chebucto News, January 2024]
Public Works Minister Kim Masland is delivering on her promise to save Williams Lake by fixing the aging and leaky dam. If you’ve been to the Shaw Wilderness Park lately, you will have noticed the public service announcement posters taped to several trees next to the dam, the over-flowing spillway, and along the trail. These notices are from Build Nova Scotia and announce their investigative activities at the Williams Lake dam. This is good news!
Minister Masland asked Build Nova Scotia to oversee the geotechnical team that drilled several boreholes in the vicinity of the dam to check on the permeability of the soil and depth of the bedrock. These core samples provide important details for the new design of the outdated Williams Lake dam.
The track-mounted drill rig plus two operator-technicians, as well as two engineers and an archeologist, worked at the dam in the Shaw Wilderness Park in mid-December to collect details and data of the area to report their findings to Build Nova Scotia.
“We supplied Build Nova Scotia with documents, reports, as well as lake level and water quality data that our directors have been collecting for 20 years. This recent exploratory geotechnical procedure at the dam is an important and welcomed step to saving this important lake,” stated Murray Coolican, president of the Williams Lake Conservation Company.
With the alarming effects of human-caused climate change so evident in our province, Masland’s commitment to renewing this ineffectual and outdated infrastructure is timely. A properly functioning dam will stop the yearly drastic drop in lake levels, prevent uncontrolled flooding of residential properties downstream and protect the Purcells Cove Road from potential wash-out. The consistent lake water levels will preserve the many complex ecosystems of Williams Lake and protect the rare and sensitive wildlife habitats in the Williams Lake watershed. The new dam will hold the lake waters to safe and healthy levels for everyone to enjoy Williams Lake all year.
This is dam good news!!