Elizabeth Lake siphon system unsuccessful

Wednesday morning the city tried to get a siphon system working lower lake levels.

The city’s attempt to siphon water out of Elizabeth Lake was unsuccessful. The city had stopped pumping water out of the lake and over Wattsville Road, and Wednesday morning the city tried to get a siphon system working.

The city had discussions with the Regional District of East Kootenay, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Ministry of Environment to come to the decision to use a siphon system. The system uses six-inch wide siphon pipes. One end of the pipe is submerged and at a higher point than the exit pipe, then a vacuum is created and water siphons itself through the pipe.

Chris Zettel, the city’s corporate communications officer, said that plan was not successful.

“The pipe was put into place and vacuum applied using the pumper truck from Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services to begin the siphon,” Zettel wrote in the release. “However, once the vacuum of the fire truck was removed, the siphon stopped working.”

He said city crews worked for over an hour attempting to get the siphon working with no success in keeping the water flowing once the truck was disconnected.

The city will now be working with the Ministry of Environment to develop a plan to lower Elizabeth Lake’s water level, as well as getting the required permits to do the work.

Zettel said depending on cost, that could include a new culvert at Wattsville Road with a control gate.

Last week, the city authorized Urban Systems to conduct a study of the Elizabeth Lake water issues and the city’s downstream drainage systems.