Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dam Dangerous Or More Bureaucratic Bungling?

Earthquake Could Cause Dam To Fail
Should We Mitigate Against All Possible Calamity?
Can We Mitigate Against All Possible Calamity?

I suspect the incident in Oliver about two summers ago where the failure of a private dam caused a mudslide and the loss of six homes resulted in another over reaction from the mandarins that haunt the halls in Victoria and around the province.

This stepped up vigilance surrounding the safety of dams in the province has likely resulted in the verdict by a branch of government that the dams in Colliery Park need to be removed as they could, possibly, maybe fail in the event of a significant earthquake. Not unlike the verdict we need to spend $72 million to treat water that is currently deemed by the city to be equal to commercially filtered bottled water. Both these dams, and our drinking water have 100+ years of history which don't seem to matter when those tasked with public safety think they can guard against all possible calamity. After all, if they weren't making all these important decisions, what would they be doing? Flipping burgers?

Just how large does this earthquake have to be to cause these dams to fail? What kind of damage would that level of quake cause to the other dams in the water supply system. The water mains and reservoirs etc. etc. are likely to be a complete disaster in the event of the BIG ONE everyone seems so afraid of. To say nothing of all the buildings in Nanaimo that would be reduced to rubble if a quake of that magnitude should occur.


Remember a little while ago, city staff hauled out the 'seismic event' chestnut and pointed to the extreme hazardous condition of the 75 year old city annex. Of course when public safety is the issue how can we quibble about the cost?

Well, what about ALL the other civic buildings that will never survive this much feared earthquake, or the schools where our most precious citizens spend their days? There is no real consistency and the reason of course is that it is virtually impossible to retrofit all civic buildings to the current seismic code, which incidentally means very little in the event of the 9 or 10 BIG ONE we are always told about coming sooner or later.

Is this a necessary decision that really has to be made, or just another example of bureaucracies having to justify their existence by appearing to do something?



  1. I find this an amazing portrayal of being deceived! In 2008 the city wanted to put a water main through this beautiful historic park. Funny how it tapered of till now 2012 they have found a public fear based excuse to use to destroy it. This park has been in use 100 years by the public. 100 years of storms and earthquakes and still a solid structure, But Now $ need to be gained, And again they create public fear to gain what they want. Mayors and Government we're hired BY Us the people to mediate! not dictate! this is ridiculous!

  2. And government officials always wonder why people think they are corrupt? Its things like this where the most obvious answer is they are getting paid under the table to give someone the contract to do it. Not saying this is the case, but...well...appearances.


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