Due to the age of the engineering works at the Copeland Forest wetland, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has had to undertake some emergency repairs to ensure the dam and control structure remain intact through the spring runoff.
The repair work has been going well and a spillway has been constructed to take the water level down approximately 2 feet to reduce hydraulic pressure on the dike.Material taken from the spillway area was used to plug all the cracks and holes on top of the dike, behind the control structure. A temporary coffer dam has been placed in front of the spillway which will regulate how much water flows downstream.
The main concern is silt deposition downstream so we want to ensure the water level is taken down slowly. There are also silt curtains to catch any suspended material in front of the dike and downstream of the outlet as well.
The contractor has been slowly removing the large sandbags so as not to release too much water at once. The water level is now down approximately one foot and it should drop another foot within the next week. DUC and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests (MNRF) will be collaborating over the winter to come up with a plan for proceeding with more permanent solution in 2016 that will best suit the interests of all stakeholders involved.
Conservation Programs Specialist-Biologist
Ducks Unlimited Canada