Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thames Down But Not Out

Half a dozen kayak enthusiasts were sighted Saturday paddling on the Thames River despite the very low water level resulting from the failure of a gate at Springbank Dam. All the kayakers headed downriver through the open dam and disappeared heading in the direction of Kilworth. There may be adequate water for kayaks but larger canoes are another matter. Without the dam to raise the water level, the London Canoe Club will be unable to use the river again this summer.


Anonymous said...


The original budget for the refurbishment of Springbank Dam was 4.2 million dollars that was to be shared by three levels of government. The last published total was pegged at 6.8 million dollars, over 60% more than the original budget number.
Add another 4.5 million dollars is now needed to repair the dam resulting from a failed test of the newly refurbished dam and we’re now up to 11.3 million dollars or nearly 170% over budget for this project.
There are additional costs looming, especially if the city of London loses their current court battle over the failure of the new gate. Even with the new gates in the lowered position fish passage has been shown to be adversely affected. This will require further remediation costs beyond that of repairs. How much more is COL budgeting to cover additional costs?

My question is:
Do you agree that it is time to end this shameful haemorrhaging of taxpayers’ money on Springbank Dam when one of the original alternatives was to decommission the dam at an estimated cost of 1 million dollars? (Springbank Dam Environmental Evaluation of Alternative Solutions)

Question #2

Springbank Dam and the associated head pond it creates have been described as a desirable feature that contributes to London’s quality of life.
A document produced by Trout Unlimited shows e-coli bacteria levels in the head pond created by Springbank Dam at 55 times the acceptable provincial criteria for swimming. The testing was done by a third party independent laboratory (ALS).
User groups have instituted best practices of washing or showering if splashed or immersed in the head pond created by Springbank Dam when it’s functional.
My question is:
Do you believe Springbank Dam, assuming it functions one day, contributes to Londoners’ quality of life or is Springbank Dam a liability to our citizen’s health as well as to the condition of the environment itself?

Rockinon said...

I know for a fact that until the refurbished dam with the new gates was tested that some at the Upper Thames Conservation Authority quietly wondered if the new design would work. They had, if not doubts, questions.

I have heard all your arguments before and there does seem to be a good case to be made for doing away with the Springbank Dam.