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The annual spring thaw is upon us, and with it, the need to protect the community from water damage due to runoff.
Water moves across High Level through the many drainage ditches across the community. Much of that water is destined to end up at the Amber Heights holding pond located on the south side of High Level along the walking path near the corner of Highway 58 and Rainbow Blvd.
The flow of water in the community is carefully managed by the Town’s Public Works department. The management is needed to make sure potential flooding areas are dealt with before they become an issue.
“We’re trying to save basements from being flooded,” said Director of Operations Keith Straub. “But we’re also doing it to make sure our main sewer lift station and pumping equipment aren’t damaged by runoff. This is critical infrastructure for our community.”
Every year, the Operations department evaluates the anticipated melt cycle based on numerous factors, including recent and current weather. They put a plan together to carefully move water from high-flow areas of town to lower areas – and for everything west of 103 Street, into the Amber Heights holding pond.
Local residents might be surprised to see water built up in specific drainage areas over the next two weeks. This is part of the plan to move water to the holding pond. Working from the holding pond outward, crews move the water in stages to avoid flooding or overwhelming the infrastructure.
While the work is being done to avoid flooding issues, it highlights the need for businesses and residents to avoid dumping snow into drainage ditches over winter. The added snow and ice can become a significant barrier to flowing runoff.
The drainage work is just one of the exciting projects we’ll be working on this year. Extensive cleaning and maintenance is planned for all ditches in industrial areas as well as the ditches and alleys in the residential areas of town. Crews are planning to be busy this year cleaning and removing vegetation and wood debris, as well as removing silt and sediment from drainage areas.