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West Bench Hill Road

Here we go again: Anyone who doubts the instability of West Bench soils should take a look at the new dip on West Bench Hill Road.  This dip is in a slightly different place than the previous large dip.  A few things to know about this problem:

  1. Rural roads (and drainage from roads) are the responsibility of the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI).  The RDOS has nothing to do with planning, engineering, or upkeep of our roads and drainage (see the Area F owner's manual for more information).
  2. MoTI is aware of the problem (as indicated by the bump sign).
  3. The West Bench water system supply main runs along the east side of the road, so the RDOS does have a serious interest in this instability.  The main is high density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) and can flex a fair bit.  However, a massive failure of the slope could cause major interuptions of the West Bench water system--this would be very bad.  RDOS Public Works is monitoring the situation.
  4. There is no evidence to suggest the West Bench water main is the root cause of the instability.  For example, meter readings at the pumphouse do not indicate a leak.  Rain seems to be the likely culprit.  And as the dip gets bigger it attracts more water flow.
  5. I suspect the repair will be extensive once the rain stops. You may have seen the work they had to do following the recent and somewhat similar Peachland slide. Let's hope it does not come to this.

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