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BC Hydro removes 30,000 kilograms of debris from Arrow Lakes

Low water levels allowed for removal of structures and materials

BC Hydro has taken the opportunity presented by low water levels in the Arrow Lakes Reservoir to clean up almost 30,000 kilograms of shoreline debris.

In the fall and winter of 2023, BC Hydro began to inventory structures and materials along the shoreline of the reservoir.

Approximately 1,300 structures and materials were then assessed for removal based on environmental considerations, archaeological and heritage values, accessibility and public safety concerns.

BC Hydro spokesperson Mary Anne Coules says the work to remove materials was safely completed over a five-week period beginning on Feb. 22.

The work was complete by a barge crew and ground crew.

The barge crew utilized a barge, a crew boat, an excavator and three crew members, and they accessed sites from the shoreline.

The ground crew utilized a one-ton truck, dump trailer, mini excavator, Kubota side-by-side and two crew members.

In some areas, work could only be completed by hand without any excavation due to environmental considerations, says Coules.

“Our efforts were concentrated in priority areas that are highly used and easily accessible, including Nakusp, Burton, Edgewood, Renata, Shields, Needles, Broadwater Road in Robson, and Arrow Park,” explained Coules.

In total, crews removed over 29,800 kg of material, including 20,140 kg of metal that was collected and recycled, and 9,660 kg of rubble that was collected and disposed.

BC Hydro says that following this initial effort, a long-term strategy will be developed to evaluate the remaining structures and materials for potential removal.

“BC Hydro would like to thank everyone who sent in reports of these structures and materials,” said Coules. “This feedback helped to guide the response and removal efforts.”

READ MORE: BC Hydro predicting below-average water levels at Arrow Lakes Reservoir

Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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