Note: to return to the previous page, please use your browser's Back button.

Clair Lake

Here is the latest (December 2012) update regarding Clair Lake.

The representative for Beechwood South is Nathan Slichter. The letter below is from the chair of the Clair Lake committee that Nathan participates in on behalf of BSHA.

Dear Beechwood Residents

Once again I wanted to update you on developments with the rehabilitation of Clair Lake.

First, about 2 weeks ago just before the dredging was about to start, a double check of the numbers revealed an error in the amount of silt to be removed. The consultants who prepared the estimate, Conestoga Rovers, originally estimated that 4200m3 of sediment was to be removed and the construction company, R&M, was hired to remove that amount. The routine review revealed that in fact there are 7000m3 of sediment to be removed and since this was not included in the original scope of work, it will cost an extra $450,000 to remove it. Council voted to approve these additional funds at the Nov 19th council meeting. I addressed the council and asked them to do so because, while it is a lot of money, we really want to fix the lake right this time. In 1984 when they last dredged the lake, they ran out of money halfway through the process (in part because they also underestimated the amount of silt that time as well) and decided to leave 3000m3 of silt in place. That is partly why we are addressing this issue again now. If we dredge the lake completely this time it will not need dredged again for 80 to 100 years providing it is properly maintained. City staff asked the Clair Lake Citizens Task Force to examine three proposals which would reduce the cost for the city at a meeting on November 20th, but all three were rejected. Two were rejected because they involved removing less silt and in one case reducing the stormwater retention capacity of the lake. The third was rejected because it involved burying sediment, which is too toxic for general disposal and needs a special disposal site, in the greenbelt beside the lake. The Task Force also proposed a fourth option, which the city staff was working on, in which the consultants who made the mistake would forgo some of their fees, perhaps up to $100,000, to mitigate the costs for the city. Thus, it will cost more than originally thought, but the Clair Lake will be remediated correctly and work on the site continues.

A second issue I would like to address is the fact that over the past weekend someone put four boards back in the dam, causing the lake to partially refill. As a result, the dredging will have to be put on hold for two days until the lake empties sufficiently again. The boards will now be removed to a place where they are not accessible to the public, but I would ask the residents of the neighbourhood refrain from tampering with the work site and to ensure that their children stay away from the work site as well.

As always please feel free to contact myself or the other Task Force members if you have questions.


Brian Dixon
Chair, Clair Lake Citizens Task Force

Brian Dixon
><((((o > Professor ><((((o>
Canada Research Chair in Fish and Environmental Immunology
Rm B1 276
Department of Biology
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave West
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada N2L 3G1
Ph. (519) 888-4567 x32665
Fax. (519) 746-0614