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Preparations Being Made for Pumps to Maintain Cowichan River

Pumps will soon be installed at the Cowichan Lake weir to maintain the flow of water from the lake into the Cowichan River, if needed, next month.

Catalyst Crofton pulp and paper mill Environmental Manager Brian Houle says unless there is an adequate amount of rain, the lake level will be too low to continue gravity feeding the river as of September 12th.

The flow of water over the weir into the Cowichan River has been reduced to 4.5 cubic metres per second since the beginning of July.

He says they plan to begin installing scaffolding for the pumps this week, and will start moving pumps out of storage at locations in Canada and transporting them to the weir in Lake Cowichan next week.

The Cowichan Watershed Board is currently lobbying the province for funding to raise the level of the dam by 70 centimetres.

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Houle says the increased height would have made the difference this year because the high water level of the lake in April couldn’t be stored by the current weir at Lake Cowichan.

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