Beckwith Park Dam Decommissioning

Beckwith Pond dam decommissioning and associated ecological restoration work will begin later this summer. We expect the project to have significant environmental benefits to the Beckwith Park landscape with only minor disruptions to public use of the park.

Water License Removal

Picture of Beckwith Park pond with trees surrounding it showing area of dam decommissioningBeckwith Pond is a constructed landscape feature formerly used by farmers in the area as an irrigation pond who had a water license issued by the Province for irrigation purposes. The primary objective of the Beckwith Pond Dam Decommissioning Project is to remove the water license held by an adjacent property owner and in order to remove the water license; the Provincial Dam Safety Office requires a breach to the dam to ensure that it poses no liability or safety risk to the public in the future.

Dam Decommissioning

The decommissioning of dams in the Province is administered by Dam Safety Officers and the B.C. Dam Safety Program works to reduce risks associated with the design, construction, operation, maintenance, removal and/or decommissioning of a dam. The decommissioning of the Beckwith Pond dam structure is a prerequisite for removal of the water license. This also means the owners of the water licence are responsible for dam decommissioning even though the dam is located in Beckwith Park. The dam decommissioning plan has been reviewed by a provincial Dam Safety Officer and is compliant with requirements of the provincial Water Sustainability Act and Dam Safety Regulation.

Retention of Beckwith Park Amenities

The continuous looped path around the Beckwith Pond takes advantage of the dam structure on the eastern edge and pathways that lead off into adjacent neighbourhoods connect to the looped trail, making it a popular neighbourhood walking route. A key outcome of this project is to retain the loop trail and its connections, as such, the required breach in the dam will see pedestrian bridge approximately 10m in length.
Mock of new pedestrian bridge proposed for Beckwith Park loop trail

Wildlife Habitat Enhancements

As a result of the breach in the dam, several habitat enhancements will be realized at the new bridge site.

New Stream Channel

The removal of an approximately 10m wide section of the dam (i.e., the breach) will allow the construction of a new stream channel designed to take the overflow from the pond and direct it safely into the Beckwith Creek.

Questions or comments?

 Contact us at parks@saanich.ca or 250-475-5522.