Boaters can rest easy that the city’s boat ramp in East Trail is safe for use.
Those words from BC Hydro following a seven-year investigation over concerns that sand accumulation in Indian Eddy was impeding safe use at the site.
To determine whether sand from Gyro Park was building up in the eddy, and as part of the company’s water use plan, the Lower Columbia River Indian Eddy Dredging assessment was launched in 2009.
The engineering study concluded it was unlikely that most or any of the sand in question would have come from Gyro Park, says BC Hydro spokesperson Mary Anne Coules.
“It also determined that flushing flows were not strong enough to recirculate accumulated sediment from the eddy back to the main channel,” she explained. “The study reviewed options to encourage flushing flows, and concluded these would make it unsafe for boating.”
The report recommended that periodic dredging be studied as an option to remove sediment, so in 2010 BC Hydro undertook an environmental review of the potential effects of removing the sand deposit.
Coules says that study concluded that dredging could introduce residual environmental impacts, based on results of a literature review, site assessment and examination of probably environmental impacts.
Finally, the company documented bathymetric (study of underwater depths) surveys in 2008 and 2015 to access depth fluctuations, and found changes over the time period were minimal.
“The study also looked at potential impacts to navigation at the Indian Eddy boat launch,” she said. “The elevation of the access into the eddy through its downstream end has remained relatively stable.”
In light of the results, BC Hydro has determined there is currently no risk to public safety at the boat launch, Coules added.
“And there is no need to dredge the eddy at this time.”
To view the reports, visit the BC Hydro website and type CLBWORKS-20A in the search bar.