Thetis Lake Main Beach Closed September 28-30 for General Assessment of Dam

Sep 25, 2015

Victoria, BC– The main beach at Thetis Lake Regional Park will be closed September 28, 29 and 30, 2015 while the Capital Regional District (CRD) conducts a general assessment of the dam area, which includes drilling and other activities.

The CRD asks that park visitors use caution around equipment and crews, and follow the detour signs around the closed site, which includes facilities within the temporarily fenced-off enclosure of the main beach area. No access will be available to the change rooms, picnic tables, toilets and lake adjacent to the main beach for the duration of the work. All of the parking lots, trails and other facilities will remain open, including the West Beach and Upper Thetis Lake areas.

“The park’s main beach is actually an earthen dam,” said CRD Regional Parks Chair Susan Brice. “The CRD is undertaking a geotechnical investigation and composition assessment of the dam to better understand what it is composed of and how it was constructed when it was originally built in 1887.”

The CRD is working towards a full and comprehensive safety review of the dam and this work is the initial step in that process. As an owner of the dam at Thetis Lake Regional Park, the CRD is committed to ensuring all of its facilities are maintained to a high standard to ensure public safety.

The CRD is a local government that delivers 200+ regional, sub-regional and local services for residents of the region which includes 13 municipalities and three electoral areas within 2370 square kilometres on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD is working to serve the public, and build a vibrant, livable and sustainable region.

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Carla Wormald, Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
Tel: 250.360.3225
Cell: 250.507.7657

 

BACKGROUNDER

The Dams
Thetis Lake originally consisted of two lakes: Upper and Lower Thetis Lakes. It was not until a dam was constructed at the south end of lower Thetis Lake that the two lakes were connected. The lake was one of several water supply reservoirs for the greater Victoria area from the late 1800s to early 1900s. An earthen dam was originally constructed at the south end of lower Thetis Lake in 1887 and this raised the water level sufficiently to join the upper and lower lakes to form the current lake system. Two additional dams were constructed at later dates (circa 1927). The lake is controlled by a spillway and outlet structure on the east side of the lake, constructed around 1981.

Water Supply

Thetis Lake was a part of the Elk and Beaver Lakes waterworks system as a reserve water supply. In 1885, Thetis Lake was owned by the Esquimalt Waterworks Company. The company supplied water to Esquimalt and Victoria West from 1892 until 1915. In 1915, Sooke Lake Reservoir was commissioned as the new source of Victoria’s water supply.

The Park
Thetis Park Nature Sanctuary Association was formed in 1958 to save the area from development, and 160 hectares around the lake was cared for by the Association. Thetis Lake and the Nature Sanctuary around it were given official park status in 1975. The City of Victoria transferred ownership and management of Thetis Lake to the CRD in 1993, due to the park’s wide use by residents from throughout the region.