The science is working and the movement should decline even more this year.
That is the basic message that was delivered to residents in the West Quesnel Land Stability area at a public meeting at the Legion last night.
Nick Polysou (Polly-sue), a Geotechnical Engineer, confirms that there was 14 millimetres of movement in 2016 which was a relatively wet year.
Here, he puts that in perspective…
“That is a pretty low number. Typically we would expect more than 50 millimetres of movement for similar weather conditions. The long term average has been 47 and there has been years where we’ve had well over 80.”
Polysou says these numbers don’t reflect the work that was done late last year in phase two of the West Quesnel Land Stability Program…specifically the addition of 6 more pumping wells, three new horizontal drains and storm drainage.
He says they have real time instrumentation that show just 2 millimetres of movement so far this year at a time when there has been in excess of 40 in other years.
Polysou says 56 thousand litres of water a day is pumped out of all of the wells and the horizontal drains produce 166 thousand litres a day.
Mayor Bob Simpson notes that they are now getting ready for the next phase of the program.
Simpson says this third phase so to speak involves getting the residents in the area to buy into keeping the water from getting into the ground in the first place…
“We heard great ideas tonight about some incentive programs…rain barrel programs, tie in programs, tree programs and the question was asked can we look at phase three being some incentives, some assistance for people to actually tie into the infrastructure we built, absolutely.”
Simpson says they will meet with the committee to determine how they can engage the residents and start to think about how they can get help for people who have homes that have lost their structural integrity.
One thing residents likely heard last night that they didn’t like was that building restrictions would remain in place.
Simpson says they have done a massive investment on what he calls “a giant science experiment” and he says they are not sure yet if it will have the effect that they want.
He says they won’t know until they get a number of different weather scenarios which will take some time.
Simpson says it will still be a minimum of three years and more than likely five.
Council wants to see the movement get down into the 1 millimetre a year area before the restrictions are lifted.
There are roughly 750 homes in the West Quesnel Land Stability area.