The CVRD parks and trails department has removed the diving board at Arbutus Park due to concerns of low water depth.

Low water level forces removal of diving board

There will be no diving board available for swimmers at Arbutus Park this summer

There will be no diving board available for swimmers at Arbutus Park this summer due to unseasonably low water levels in Cowichan Lake.

Last week the CVRD’s parks and trails department decided to remove the diving board from the floating platform in Youbou because of safety concerns related to the water depth at Arbutus Park.

“We regularly monitor all our waterfront parks… to ensure that the distance and depth stays within the parameters established for public safety of use of a diving board,” said Brian Farquhar, manager of parks and trails at the CVRD. “Given we’ve been seeing a drop in the lake level, we wanted to be preemptive in terms of removing the diving board prior to it reaching a critical depth concern.”

For diving boards, the minimum depth is 12 feet. It’s not the first time the diving board has had to be removed due to safety concerns, although Farquhar said he can’t recall a time when the board has had to be removed so early in the season.

“We certainly noted that the lake levels currently appear to be what they were at in mid-August last year. It appears to be at a lower level now than even we anticipated,” he said. “It’s unfortunate because we know the diving board is very popular. But first and foremost it’s for safety of all park users there.”

Farquhar said the CVRD is hoping to eventually install a new washroom and change room building at Arbutus Park and make “improvements to the overall park area in terms of use of space improvement and in terms of accessibility, too.”

Arbutus Park has lifeguards on duty from now until Aug. 31, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.