Farm Lake Creek
A primary issue of concern at the 2019 AGM was the debris in the Farm Lake Creek that impeded the flow of the creek resulting in elevated levels of lake water and flooding of basements in the spring of 2019 from an abnormally high water table.
Following the AGM, a few GORA members sent a request to Council to clean the debris from the Farm Lake Creek. A photo showing an accumulation of logs stretching from shore to shore was also provided. Council's response was that the Creek was looked at and they determined that removal of the debris was not necessary.
Given this response, GORA members went to the Creek on Friday, July 26 to clear out - by hand - the numerous big logs and garbage. Council was notified that GORA removed the debris and the Municipality agreed to dispose of it.
At the regular Council meeting held on August 6, 2019, several GORA members attended and voiced their concerns about the creek situation. We made three requests of Council:
1) To cease having its snow removal contractor push snow to the edge of the creek and to ensure that the Ministry of Transport does not do the same;
2) To apply for a permit to dredge the creek in order to maximize water flow (if necessary); and
3) To regularly monitor and clear debris in the creek to help ensure that water levels in Farm Lake are not so unnecessarily elevated that they result in flooding of basements in the spring.
During the discussion, we pointed out to Council that since the debris had been cleared from the creek, the level of the lake water decreased by approximately six inches.
The Mayor committed to having the creek inspected by a civil engineer to help determine if anything else should be done. In October, the engineer reported the following:
snow should never be pushed to the creek’s edge;
there are large branches (on standing trees) leaning into the creek that should be removed; and
dredging the creek would not significantly lower the water level in the lake.
Over the course of the winter of 2019-2020, snow was not being pushed towards the edge of the creek in the centre of town. The large branches leaning into the creek were removed in the spring of 2020. These are victories!
2020 - Farm Lake Water Level Measurement Project
To ensure that water is flowing out of Farm Lake properly through the creek and culvert, we have begun daily recording of the water level of the lake. Doing this will help in two ways:
it will allow us to develop a baseline to compare the level of Farm Lake between years;
it will give us an early-warning that the culvert at the creek may be blocked.
Here are the most significant measurements recorded to date in 2020:
at it's peak, the level was at 17.5" above Summer Low* on April 15;
thankfully, this did not result in water infiltration of basements in 2020
the lowest level was 2.5" above Summer Low on July 31;
as of September 11, the level is 4" above Summer Low.
*Summer Low is defined as the lowest water level experienced over the last half decade, as agreed by owners of two of the low-lying properties around Farm Lake.
The complete set of daily measurements will be updated frequently.