Repair work is expected to be completed this week on a damaged portion of Hendrie Valley at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
“At the end of September, during a severe localized downpour an aging stormwater pipe, that had been slated for repairs, failed tearing out the lower portion of a slope in the woodland garden area of Hendrie Park”, according to a statement from the RBG.
The damaged area was rectangular, 80 feet by 50 feet, with a depth of 30 feet.
RBG reacted by quickly building an interim surface drainage pipe and setting up a temporary storm pond at the bottom of the damaged slope. The pond was required to help control runoff and prevent further damage to the area. It will ultimately be improved as part of the RBG’s master plan.
After the initial emergency response, new concrete storm drains were constructed at the top of the bank, followed by connecting pipes. Unfortunately, more rain in October delayed the repair work even further.
Climate change may have been part of the problem. The downpour that ultimately caused the damage consisted of 60 millimeters of rain in one day as measured by the Environment and Climate Change Canada weather station at the Gardens’ Arboretum. In addition, during the preceding three months there were nine rainfalls with over 20 millimeters of rain.
“Thirty years ago, this amount of rain would have been expected once every five years or so”, according to the RBG.
The final cost of the repairs, which is not known at this time, will have to be paid by the RBG.
Aldershot Councillor Kelvin Galbraith, who is Halton Council’s representative on the RBG Board of Directors, told the media that he had not been made aware of the mishap.
Story and pictures by Rick Craven