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Pumps Needed Again to Maintain Flow of Water into Cowichan River

For the second time in four years, pumps will be needed to maintain the flow of water from Cowichan Lake into the Cowichan River.

The last of the 18 pumps to be installed at the weir in Lake Cowichan was expected to be in place late Tuesday.

Environmental Manager Brian Houle of Catalyst-Crofton says the pumps will be switched on sometime Wednesday after they receive approval from a biologist who will assess the situation and then give the go ahead to start.
He says Fisheries and Oceans Canada requires them to have a professional biologist who is qualified to observe and monitor things, especially environmental conditions for the Cowichan Lake Lamprey.
He also says they are required to make sure it is safe for boaters on Cowichan Lake and they will be placing markers to ensure boaters are able to see new hazards that will result from the lower water level.
Houle says the flow of water over the weir into the Cowichan River has dropped to 4.1 cubic metres per second and it will rise to the required 4.5 CMS once pumping begins.
As for how long the pumps will be needed, Houle says they were used for three weeks in 2019 and he expects it could be a similar length of time this year.
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