Cranbrook switching to siphon system

The City of Cranbrook will attempt a new syphoning program to move water out of  Elizabeth Lake and across Wattsville Road starting this week.

Since flooding started, the city has been pumping water with large water pumps and hoses across the road, but through discussions with the Regional District of East Kootenay, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Environment it has decided to set up a siphoning system to attempt to move the water.

The city explained that the siphoning of water is much the same as siphoning gasoline from a tank. The city will be receiving two six-inch diameter siphon pipes this week. When one end of the pipe is submerged and a vacuum suction is created, the fluid will flow to the lower end of the pipe.

The city will work with a Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services pumper truck to create the suction required to get the siphon flowing.

The pipe will bring the water from the lake across the road to channel across Wattsville Road.

“The flow of water through the culvert under Highway 3 will determine the amount of water coming through the siphon system,” wrote Chris Zettel, the city’s corporate communications officer.  “If the Highway 3 culvert is at capacity, city crews will stop the siphoning to prevent any downstream flooding.”

As a result of the siphons, Wattsville Road will be closed to traffic for  the duration of the work, according to the city.

The city has also authorized Urban Systems to conduct a study of the Elizabeth Lake water issues and city’s downstream drainage systems.

The city administration noted it is important to get the study completed as soon as possible to provide time for any construction that may be needed to be carried out this year with regards to the drainage systems.


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