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City has hope for reservoir

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What started as fears that the capacity at Vermillion Reservoir was no longer sufficient to supply Dauphin’s water treatment plant have turned to hopes the reservoir can be made to supply the plant in the long-term.
Not only has a new bathymetric survey indicated there is significantly more capacity in the reservoir than originally thought, there is a chance capacity could be increased even further, director of Works and Operations Bill Brenner told councillors at their regular meeting, Jan. 14.
“During my research on the reservoir, I came across a letter from the province which seemed to indicate that the dam constructed to create the reservoir was designed in such a way that the reservoir overflow level could be increased at some time in the future,” Brenner said.
“If this is truly the case, then there is a possibility that the amount of water that can be stored in the reservoir could be returned to a value closer to its original capacity.”
Brenner requested council contact Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler to request provincial engineers review the original dam design to determine the feasibility of increasing the storage capacity. As well, Brenner would like the feasibility study to include the costs of remediation options to deal with the siltation which has blocked the intake pipes at the pump house.
Back in October, Brenner said, divers were hired to determine the condition of the two intakes at the reservoir pump house.
The inspection revealed the lower intake was buried in .6 metres of silt and there was about five metres of water above the intake. The divers also indicated the upper intake was also buried in silt and debris.
“We could get at them. The divers got at them quite readily, because the silt was quite liquid. But it remains an issue that we are going to have to address,” Brenner said, adding the first step needs to be finding out if the capacity can, in fact, be increased.
“Once we determine yes or no, then we can start working on a fix for the reservoir.”