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Ophir Creek Dam Safety Review (Operational Project)

Project Background:

The Ophir Creek Dam was constructed in 2009 and was classified by the Operations, Maintenance, and Surveillance (OMS) Manual as a “High” consequence classification. As such it requires that a Dam Safety Review (DSR) be completed every 10 years. Ophir Reservoir is one of two raw water reservoirs that supply the City of Rossland’s Water Treatment Plant and as such is considered critical infrastructure.

As per the British Columbia Dam Safety Regulation, owners of high, very high or extreme failure consequence classification dams are required to complete a Dam Safety Review (DSR) every 7 or 10 years, as established in Schedule 1 of the Regulation. The objective of the DSR, which is prepared by a professional engineer with qualifications and experience in dam safety analysis (a Qualified Professional), is to determine if the dam under review is safe as per Division 4 of the Regulation. Dam safety reviews require a systematic review and evaluation of all aspects of the design, construction, maintenance, operation, processes and systems affecting a dam’s safety, including the dam safety management system.

Project Details:

The purpose of the review will be to confirm that the design, construction, and operation of the Ophir Creek Dam and all associated infrastructure meets the current criteria, and if not, to identify areas that require improvement. The extent and breadth of the review will demonstrate that:

  • The dam is safe, operated safely, and maintained in safe conditions; and
  • Surveillance is adequate to detect any developing safety problems.

The review will be completed based on the Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (EGBC) “Professional Practice Guidelines – Legislated Dam Safety Reviews in BC” V3.0 (October 2016), Canadian Dam Association (CDA) 2007 Dam Safety Guidelines (2013 Edition), the BC Dam Safety Regulation (BC Reg. 40/2016, February 29, 2016), and the BC Water Sustainability Act. The DSR will encompass the review elements as defined in “Section 5 – Dam Safety Review” of the CDA Dam Safety Guidelines. These elements, as defined in Section 5.4: Scope and Content of Review, are as follows:

  • Site inspection and staff interviews;
  • Data and records;
  • Consequences of dam failure;
  • Dam Safety Analysis;
  • Operation, maintenance, and surveillance;
  • Emergency Preparedness;
  • Public safety and security; and
  • Dam Safety Management System.
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