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BX Creek Intake Dam Removal Design

2020 | Regional District of North Okanagan, BC

When water quality issues were detected at the BX Creek Intake Dam in the 1990’s, the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) decommissioned the dam and eventually converted it to a sediment control facility. However, high water levels and flood events between 2010 and 2020 caused considerable damage and the facility began to pose a threat to the public and local environment.  

With the dam set to expire as a sediment pond at the end of 2021, RDNO focused on decommissioning the facility and returning the creek to a natural state. 

To meet RDNO’s needs, McElhanney developed a practical rehabilitation design that featured cost and time saving strategies; coordination with the City of Vernon to deliver final cleanup of a sediment pump avoided costly duplications of efforts; the dam site’s constrained, single-lane access was mitigated by coordinating temporary use of private property to stockpile excavation materials; an incomplete berm was filled in to meet 1:200-year storm design requirements, further protecting the RDNO; and a 10m length of bank was reinforced, tripling the capacity of BX creek to contain spring freshet in full flow. 

The creek restoration design approach included: hydrologic analysis (with climate change), hydraulic analysis, design of the horizontal / vertical alignments, design of channel geometry, design of appropriate channel morphology and habitat structure, vegetation plans and design of a multi-use pathway adjacent to the Creek. 

Through our rehabilitation design and our coordination with FLNRO, City of Vernon, DFO, and BX Fire Department, the Regional District of North Okanagan was able to move forward with the removal of the BX Creek Intake Dam in a way that left the surrounding environment safer, and more stable. 

McElhanney provided:

  • Preliminary design and cost estimates for capital funding 
  • Detailed design, management of sub-consultants, contract preparation and tendering 
  • Hydrologic analysis (with climate change) and hydraulic analysis 
  • Environmental Services – WSA and DFO approvals 
  • Tender MMCD 
  • Construction inspection and administration under an MMCD contract 
BX Creek Dam Removal final landscape
BX Creek Dam before removal
BX Creek Dam during removal
BX Creek Dam Removal Design during construction