What Are Stormwater Ponds?
Urban creeks provide many vital municipal services, including the conveying and treating of stormwater (rainwater) run-off.
Stormwater run-off from development in Upper Gibsons flows into Charman Creek, after passing through natural settling ponds in White Tower Park (which help clean and filter the water) and finally into the ocean as a naturally treated product.
If these creeks and ponds stopped performing their current functions, flooding downstream could occur and either development in Upper Gibsons would have to slow or stop, or engineered infrastructure would need to be constructed (at an estimated cost of $4 million) and maintained.
In light of this, the Town works to keep the forested wetland area in White Tower Park healthy and functioning, through general maintenance and by routine dredging of the ponds to remove excess sediment to maintain water storage capacity.
In addition to its stormwater management services, White Tower Park provides the Town with accessible green space that is extremely popular with Gibsons’ citizens and visitors.
Gibsons’ White Tower Park in the news: Putting a price on nature can help municipalities adapt to climate change | CBC
Expanding the Stormwater Ponds at White Tower Park
Work is expected to begin in October 2023 and be completed in February 2024.
The new pond will reclaim wetland that was historically infilled, protect approximately 2 km of Charman Creek’s natural watercourse and habitats, and aid in managing flood risk to downstream infrastructure and properties. Additionally, it will mitigate the effects of past development, serve future development, and provide greater resiliency to climate change.
Project steps include:
- re-alignment of sanitary and storm sewers
- excavation of new stormwater pond
- planting of native species to help settle out sediments and remove pollutants from the stormwater before it enters the creek
- development of walking trails
- installation of informational signage
On completion, this project will improve storm water quality and management capacity, expand White Tower Park, and better connect residents to our natural assets.
In September 2021, shortly after the excavation work commenced on the stormwater ponds expansion project, an artifact of historical significance was discovered. As a result, an archaeological impact assessment was conducted in collaboration with the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and two more artifacts were recovered. Material screening by archaeologists occurred in early summer 2023 in the areas where the artifacts were found, and archaeological permits were issued for construction to recommence.
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.