Landslide area trails closed as SCRD moves to protect water intakes

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) is closing trail and access areas near the site of a Dec. 19 landslide that poses a threat to water intake mains for the Chapman Creek Water Treatment Plant.

“This closure [effective Jan. 13] is being implemented so that contractors can safely move machinery into the area and commence work,” Remko Rosenboom, the SCRD’s general manager of infrastructure services, said in a Jan. 12 news release.

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The one-kilometre section of trail is located just above the area of the slide, which could block intakes if mud and debris on the slope were to fall into the creek.

“We understand that this is a popular walking trail for the community and staff are working to ensure access is restored as soon as it is safe to do so,” said the release. “The work to secure our water mains is essential to safeguard water supply for residents on the Chapman water system and I want to recognize the great work done by staff to have a plan in place so quickly after the slide occurred.”

Following an emergency meeting on Dec. 31, the SCRD board approved up to $200,000 for work to secure the water mains.

“Through the holidays and into the New Year, SCRD staff have been engaged with a contractor to ensure this work can begin as soon as possible,” the release said.

Responding by email to questions from Coast Reporter, Rosenboom said contractors are planning to be on site “by Thursday at the latest” to begin work to secure the water mains.

“SCRD staff are also continuously monitoring the area and mitigation efforts such as plastic coverings and temporary drainage are ongoing,” he added. “We are hoping that all of the work will be completed within two weeks.”

Rosenboom said recent heavy rains do not appear to have worsened the situation, “partly due to [the] early mitigation efforts.”

The SCRD will be keeping residents updated on the ongoing work via social media and the SCRD website, he said.

The water withdrawn from the creek provides nearly all the water consumed throughout the Chapman Creek system, which supplies approximately 10,000 properties from West Howe Sound to Secret Cove. The creek runs to the Strait of Georgia from Chapman Lake and Edwards Lake, located in Tetrahedron Provincial Park, which are the primary reservoirs for the water system.

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