Councillor’s pipe dream is to help Willow Creek

The timeline is winding down on removing this infrastructure prior to the pink salmon run

An old Telus pipe is causing problems for fish in Willows Creek, according to one councillor.

And he wants it removed.

Coun. Larry Samson said Telus does not appear to have any plans for the piece of infrastructure and at last week’s Tuesday’s council meeting he tasked city staff with coming up with ways to deal with the pipe.

“The timeline is winding down on removing this infrastructure prior to the pink (salmon) run which comes in sometime in late August,” Samson said. “So I thought asking staff for a report gives us a definite conclusion on what Telus is planning to do.”

The pipe is a conduit with Telus cables and wires inside of it and it’s encased in concrete.

It’s one of three pipes – two are old city pipes – that lie below the bridge that crosses Willow Creek along the South Island Highway near Rona.

Mayor Walter Jakeway said he believes the pipe, which becomes a little waterfall in the creek, will be too difficult for Telus to remove.

“In talking to the stream keepers they think that building little steps, a fish ladder device, is probably the easiest way, because for them to remove that pipe is going to be a major, major deal,” Jakeway said. “I suspect that’s what staff’s going to find out. It’s a really hard one to remove and at low water it’s a problem. The fish can’t get over it.”

Samson agreed the pipe poses a problem for the salmon and said that he wants staff’s report to not only include ideas for removing the pipe but ways to protect the fish that live in Willow Creek once the infrastructure’s gone.

“It’s not just good enough to remove the infrastructure, there has to be a remedial plan,” Samson said. “You just can’t remove infrastructure and let the creek dictate its own flow when we remove this infrastructure.”

Ron Neufeld, the city’s general manager of operations, told Samson that staff’s report would include options for what can be done with the pipe, as well as any remedial actions required if necessary.