UNB students search for solution for Fredericton dam

A group of students from the University of New Brunswick have partnered with the City of Fredericton to find a solution for the Campbell Creek Dam.

The 100-year-old dam – originally built for the Marysville Cotton Mill – experienced a water control mechanism failure last year.

Maria Thomas, a fourth-year civil engineering student, said the dam poses a low risk of any significant failure as the head pond has been drained, but its structural integrity is deteriorating and needs to be addressed.

Thomas said she and seven other fourth-year engineering students are coming up with a design to decommission the structure.

Some of the students are looking at how to design an access route to the site, how to recycle, reuse and dispose of materials, and the environmental impact of removing the dam.

A group of geological engineering students is looking at ways the dam could be removed economically and environmentally, including the rehabilitation of the dam-free water course to encourage the return of spawning salmon.

"We learn a lot by working in groups," Thomas said in a news release. "Everyone brings their own opinions and backgrounds and we need to come up with a strategy together. I'm happy with our team.  Everyone pulls their weight and gets along well."

Jody Boone, a project engineer with the City of Fredericton, said working with the students through UNB's Capstone Design Course is mutually beneficial.

The course for fourth-year engineering students allows them to work in teams to develop an engineering design that helps solve real-world problems.

"A collaboration with the university allows students to look at the challenges and approach it in their own methods," Boone said in a news release. "This provides us with options and ideas we can use to assist in our planning and design processes as well. "

Boone said the process is very similar to working with a consultant, and is easy for the city to facilitate.

The students will present their final design project to the city in April, and at UNB's 3rd Annual Engineering Design Symposium on March 30.