Creek sediment buildup to be examined

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is taking steps to correct the flow of Windermere Creek.

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is taking steps to correct the flow of Windermere Creek after sediment buildup at the bottom of the creek forced a significant number of landowners to deal with high water levels on their property this past summer.

A Windermere Creek Assessment contract had been awarded to Northwest Hydraulics Ltd. for a total price of $24,400, excluding HST. The decision was made at the October 5 RDEK board meeting.

“I believe the creek has moved from one channel to a different channel, and in doing so it’s been eroding gravel and depositing it downstream,” RDEK engineering services manager Brian Funke said. “So they’re going to look at what they can do to correct that erosion, and why it was caused.”

Most notably, Shadybrook Resort in Windermere had the province declare a state of emergency in July, after the creek overflowed its natural barriers and rerouted directly through the resort, causing thousands of dollars in damages. This marked the second consecutive year the creek has overflowed at Shadybrook due to sediment buildup in the creek, although the flooding this past summer was much more severe.

“Properties did see some effects of that deposition of the creek,” Funke said. “More than just Shadybrook, there were other properties on both sides of the creek that had some effects of what was occurring.”

The root of the problem is upstream, east of Highway 93/95 in Windermere, and part of the assessment will be to determine where the gravel — that is being deposited at the bottom of the creek — originates from.

Funke said the consultant will spend roughly the next month putting together a report, which should be delivered to the RDEK directors before the end of the year. The report will also offer potential solutions cost estimates for each, so that the RDEK can apply for provincial funding to help correct the problem.