Beckwith Park Dam Decommissioning

Public Open House Update

Saanich Parks together with Don Mann Excavating are hosting a Public Open House on February 7th to learn more about the decommissioning project for the dam at Beckwith Park.

To provide updated information and to hear from you, please join us on February 7, 2023.

Where:  Victoria Church of the Nazarene

4277 Quadra Street

When:   Tuesday February 7, 2023

Time:     Doors open at 7:00 pm

              Presentation at 7:30 pm

 A feedback survey will be available on the project webpage at the time of the Public Open House and hard copies at the event.

Water License Removal

Picture of Beckwith Park pond with trees surrounding it showing area of dam decommissioning

Beckwith Pond is a constructed landscape feature formerly used by farmers in the area as an irrigation pond. The license was attached to an adjacent property by the Province, and that property is now owned by Don Mann Excavating Ltd. 

The primary objective of the Beckwith Pond Dam Decommissioning Project is to separate the water license and its duties and responsibilities from the adjacent property and assign those to the Beckwith Park property (i.e., to the District of Saanich): the Provincial Dam Safety Office Under the Water Sustainability Act and Dam Safety Regulation administers the licensing, maintenance and decommissioning requirements for the license in question.

Beckwith Pond Dam decommissioning and associated ecological restoration work as proposed by Don Mann Excavating Ltd. is required prior to discharge of their water license to mitigate risk. The project is expected to have significant environmental benefits to the Beckwith Park landscape with only minor disruptions to public use of the park. Don Mann Excavating Ltd. would like to start the project, pending Provincial permits and the results of ongoing public consultation. 

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.