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Ladysmith getting $10.9 million from feds and province to expand reservoir

Funding will allow for work to raise dams and dredge Holland Lake
Holland Lake reservoir will be getting $10.9 million in infrastructure work to expand its capacity. (Town of Ladysmith photo)

Ladysmith will be able to nearly double its water reservoir storage capacity after learning it will receive $10.9 million in funding for infrastructure work at Holland Lake.

The Town of Ladysmith, in a press release Friday, March 22, noted that the federal-provincial joint funding will allow the town to raise its two existing earthfill dams and dredge debris from the lakebed. That work is expected to accommodate a 1.5-metre increase to the reservoir’s water level.

As well, a new water intake through the east dam and upgrades to the existing outlet pipe and spillway on the west dam will improve flow management, the town stated.

“These improvements will ensure year-round access to high-quality drinking water for residents and businesses, safeguarding and preserving infrastructure, while also mitigating environmental impacts that affect water quality and ecosystems,” noted the release.

The federal government is investing $5.9 million in the Holland Lake project through its infrastructure program, while the provincial government is contributing $4.9 million.

The town held an alternative-approval process in 2020 to allow for the long-term borrowing of a share of the project costs. The release noted that at the time of the grant application, the town’s contribution to the work was $3.9 million.

“Climate change is expected to result in less precipitation in the summer months, and more precipitation in the fall and winter, most likely in the form of rain rather than snow. Increasing storage capacity at Holland Lake allows the town to better capture this precipitation,” the release stated.

The town provides 3,400 water services connections.

READ ALSO: Ladysmith receiving $2.75 million for weir work along Holland Creek

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