After much discussion (and a very warm and dry Summer), a trip to the lake was organised to facilitate the supplementing of water flow into Noons Creek from Cypress Lake. The creek had almost come to a standstill with extremely low flow – in fact the creek gauge above the hatchery intake is now out of the water entirely.
As the valving at the Cypress Lake dam is still not operational, a plan was devised to syphon some water from the dam into the small tributary of Noons Creek that stems from the dam’s spillway. The following ingredients were needed:
1) Flexible hose / pipe – at least 4″ in diameter and preferably longer than 30′ (we ended up getting one 50′)
2) Caps for each end
3) A method for getting said pipe to the dam (a 2.5 hour hike!)
4) Manpower to haul the water-filled pipe from the top of the dam, down the spillway
Hose (4″ Big ‘O’) and caps were easy – hardware store; getting there and man-power were taken care of by a friend of Brian (Ryan) with his 4×4 side-by-side buggy, along with a business partner of his (Dave) who also had one. These guys also provided the necessary man-power. All set………..let’s go, so on August 11th at approx. 10:00 am, we headed to the top of Plateau Blvd on Westwood Plateau.
After freeing the 4 x 4 ‘s from their huge trailer, we piled the pipe and sundry other gear on them. Brian rode with Ryan and Dave rode with Dave………………………and in about 25 minutes we were at the dam ready for work. First thing we noticed was that the water had dropped around 12′ from our previous trip – it had been previously lapping at the spillway. It took 4 attempts but we eventually got the syphon working very well. Brian volunteered to dive into the lake and work with the hose, filling it with water and preventing the water from flowing back out when the guys lifted the other end to haul it down the spillway to a level lower than the pipe’s intake. As the water started to flow, Brian tested the flow by putting his hand across the inlet end and quickly had his whole arm sucked up the pipe, as far as his shoulder. Yep – plenty of suction and a good stream of water now flowing into the creek. The inlet end of the pipe was then secured midstream; at 18″ below the surface and 12’ from the bottom (secured by rocks). If the syphon continued uninterrupted, the worst case scenario would be that the whole lake would drain down 18″ – but then the syphon would stop once air got into the pipe. And to drain 18″ from the lake would take a long time.
We estimated it would be probably another 24 hours before any difference (if any) was noticed down at the hatchery intake – or simply in the lower reaches of Noons. With that done, we took off armed with maps to do some more reconnaissance of the Noons Creek watershed. We found in general that the watershed is quite healthy, with a number of lakes and marshy areas feeding the creek, all with healthy volumes of water.
The next day, a small but appreciable increase of water at the intake was noticed…………which made it all worth it. The next question was ‘ How long would the syphon work?’ If left undisturbed, it should work until the water in the lake drained to the level of the pipe’s intake. Two other scenarios could stop the syphon from working; air bubbles travelling up the pipe and gathering at the apex (where it straddles the top of the spillway), or if it was disturbed by hikers / vandals. We had to leave that to chance…………………………..
The increased water seemed to last until the end of the week 8/17 to 8/21 – that’s when we noticed a decrease in water at the intake. The non-operability of the syphon was confirmed by member Doug Calder, who hiked to the lake with a friend on Sunday 8/23.
At this point, we will leave it as is. Rain is expected this weekend (8/29 & 30), so we should get some respite. And Fall is just around the corner, when fingers-crossed, we hope that things return to some relative normality……………………..and we again curse the wretched rain of the Pacific North-West! 🙂
Below are some photos of the ‘Syphon Project’……………enjoy!
And finally, I would sincerely like to thank Ryan Fischer and Dave Hik, owners of Fast Track Karting in Langley (http://www.fasttrackkarting.ca/) for their offer to partner with P.M.E.S. in this effort. Both took a day off work managing their successful indoor karting business in Langley to help us get the necessary infrastructure up to Cypress Lake with ease – and then helped operationalise the solution. Thanks guys…….can’t thank you enough!!!!
PS: If you want some great fun, head out to Fast Track Karting……………..quickest, fastest track with the newest carts in the lower mainland. You can find them at 5760 Production Way
Langley, BC V3A 4N4.