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Category Archives: Repair/Replacement

Riverside Dam Class EA – Update to Preliminary Preferred Alternative – Joint Submission

ORA understands the pressure municipalities are under when communities rally to maintain or rebuild their beloved mill ponds.  However, it is up to all authorities and municipalities to take a leadership role that places public safety and landscape scale ecological integrity above local individual or group interests.

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Save the East Channel of the Eramosa River

Upper Dam diverts flow from East Channel into West Channel of Eramosa River

Upper Dam diverts flow from East Channel into West Channel of Eramosa River

The East Channel is a stretch of the Eramosa River that runs through the village of Eden Mills, between Rockwood and the city of Guelph.  The East Channel was once a pristine river ecosystem; however, for years, it  has been in a state of decline.  Why?  Because a private dam was built without an environmental assessment or permits in the early 1990s, and blocks water from flowing down into the East Channel during the low flow summer months when the river and aquatic life need it the most.  Even though there could be as much as 20 inches of water in the river at the entrance of the East Channel, the Upper Dam blocks the flow completely at those times.  This dam continues to cause significant and alarming environmental harm to the East Channel’s river ecosystem. Continue reading

Decision Notice: Alterations, Improvements & Repairs to Existing Dams, LRIA

Misner Dam, Port Dover

In November of 2015, Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) commented on EBR 012-5093,  regarding a Technical Bulletin for the Alterations, Improvements and Repairs of Existing Dams.  You can find our submission on our Blog here.  On March 24, 2016, ORA received a Decision Notice, as well as the approved Technical Bulletin. Continue reading

Springbank Dam Decommissioning

Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON

Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON

ORA and those listed below are writing in response to the recent settlement of the lawsuit over the Springbank Dam. We request serious consideration of our comments and recommendations regarding the future of the Springbank Dam, and its potential effects on public health and safety, on water quality, climate change, fisheries, and on the natural environment of the Thames River, Lake St Claire and Lake Erie, should it be returned to service.

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EBR 012-5093 – LRIA – Alterations, Improvements and Repairs to Existing Dams Technical Bulletin

Twin Falls GS, Abitibi River

ORA is very pleased to offer our comments on this EBR posting regarding the administration of Section 16 of the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA).  However, to our knowledge, no decision has yet been made on the comments ORA submitted in January of 2014, regarding EBR 012-0562, the Technical Bulletins designed to provide guidance for dam location, operation, maintenance, amendments, reporting and approval under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA).  Effective LRIA guidelines and policies are essential to regulating dams and maintaining healthy rivers.

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Natural Channels System Initiative – October 7, 2015

Keynote Speaker:  Mariëtte Pushkar, M.Sc., P.Geo.

Natural Channel Design Initiative

 Mariëtte provided an overview of the Natural Channels Initiative, Natural Channel Design Principles, Watercourse Restoration and Dam Removals, and Regulatory Agency Roles and Challenges. She drew on her own experience and that of her colleagues at Ecosystem Recovery during the presentation.

Download (PDF, 9.21MB)

Wanapitei Dam Repair, Wanapitei River

Hydro Control Dam at Outlet Bay, Lake Wanapitei- Sept 10, 2005

Project Name:  Wanapitei Dam Repair
Project Location:  Wanapitei Lake, Sudbury District
Proponent:  MNR
Contact:   J.L. Richard Engineers
Status:  Completed

Rehabilitation of 98 meter of existing 221 meter long structure.  New fish spawning habitat.  New elevated access road.  Completed.  Presented at the Canadian Dam Association Conference.

Bannerman Dam, Onaping Lake – Replacement

Project Name:  Bannerman Control Dam Replacement
Project Location: Ulster Township, Sudbury District, ON
Proponent:  MNR
Contact:  J.L. Richard

There are literally thousands of older control dams in the province that are managed by MNR.  It is great to see them being repaired and upgraded, or even removed if they no longer serve any useful purpose.

The Bannerman is located in Ulster Township (North 46″ 51′ 1″, West 8’1^o 35′ 29^), at the southwest outlet of Onaping Lake. Onaping Lake is.approximately 62.16 km2124 mi2;in size with a watershed drainage area of 1015.28 km'(392 mi’). The lake is used as a reservoir. The drainage route through Bannerman dam is into Bannerman (Moncrieff) Creek and then into the Spanish River.

Bannerman dam is constructed of reinforced concrete. lt is has a single log sluiceway, which may contain up to 16 stop logs (7 doubles, 2 singles). The dam also has and eastand westweir. The east weir is 14.63 m (48 ft) in length; the west weir is 10.36 m (34 ft) in length.

The lake level, throughout the year, is presently maintained by following the cumulative rule curve from the 1993 Upper Spanish River Water Management Plan. The lake level is regulated using both the Bannerman dam and the Onaping dam. Generally under normal conditions, Onaping Lake will remain at full supply level (1306.5 to 1307 ft (398.2-398.4m asl) from Victoria Day weekend in May until Labour Day. Drawdown begins in September after Labour Day and discontinues when the lake obtains a level of 1304 ft (397.5 m asl) at Bannerman dam, or October 15th which ever occurs first.

Onaping Lake contains the Onaping Lake Conservation Reserve and the southern portion of the lake is part of an established canoe route to the Onaping River. There are over 200 cottages, along with a tourist lodge and marina. Fishing pressure is high, which the lake supporting species which include lake trout, walleye, whitefish, northern pike and perch.

McCreight’s Dam Replacement, Bridgeland River


MNR Site No:  2CA5
Project Name: McCreight’s Dam Replacement
Project Location:  Thessalon, ON
Proponent: MNR
Contact: J.L. Richards
Status:  Undergoing replacement of existing two gate dam structure.  New 8m 2-gate structure.  Existing dam used as a coffer dam.

McCreight’s Dam and the Bridgeland River.  Also nearby, McCreight’s Pond, a closed Ontario Ranger camp (2012), a closed Ontario Forestry Prison farm (1973), and an abandoned fire tower. McCreight’s dam is about 6 kilometers (4 miles) north of the village of Little Rapids in the Kirkwood Forest. The original dam dated from the early 1900‘s and was replaced with a new two gate water control dam- -Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources is responsible for the structure.

Stobie Dam Replacement – Vermilion River

Stobie Dam, Vermilion River

Domtar has started the process of replacing the Stobie Dam.  J. L. Richard and Associates are the engineering firm undertaking the replacement of the existing 10-gate 60 meter structure with a 4-gate control dam structure and 100 meter control spilllway weir.   Work consists of 500 cubic meters of new structural concrete and removal of existing dam.

This posting is just for your information – ORA has no concerns.

Stobie Dam is located in Creighton Township (North 46’32’6″, West 81o 16’56”)on the Vermilion River approximately three 3 km downstream from the eastern outlet of Vermilion Lake. Vermilion
Lake is approximately 11 km’ (4 mi’)in size with a watershed drainage area of 2850 km2 (1100 mi2;. The lake is no longer used as a reservoir – level is maintained for local users. The lake is a
widening of the Vermilion River.

Stobie dam is constructed of reinforced concrete. lt has five log sluiceways. Four sluiceways are 14tl(4.27 m) wide and may contain up to 14 stop logs (7 doubles)each. The fifth sluiceway is 8
ft (2.44 m) wide and does not have any stop logs in it. The dam also has an east and west weir. The east weir is 64 ft. (19.5 m) in length and the west weir is 190 ft (57.91 m) in length.

The target elevation for the dam is a year-round elevation 841.5 (256.49 m) asl.  Due to the large weirs associated with this dam, the operational portion requires infrequent changes. ln years of exceptional spring run off the dam will need to be opened. Opening of the dam must be done in communication with the Nickel District Conservation Authority to minimize further flooding of downstream landowners.

Vermilion Lake is part of an established canoe route on the Vermilion River. This area is within the Greater City of Sudbury and is readily accessible by municipal roads. The lake has several
cottages and a couple of campgrounds. Walleye, perch and northern pike are some of the fish species present.

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