Dike Maintenance Act Approvals
The B.C. government is committed to maintaining the safety and integrity of dikes while preventing detrimental effects on river processes and other parties.
The Dike Maintenance Act (DMA) provides the provincial Inspector of Dikes with statutory authority to:
- Approve construction & design of new dikes
- Approve changes to existing dikes
- Establish flood protection standards & dike design criteria
- Monitor the management of flood protection works by local diking authorities
- Issue orders to persons & diking authorities to address critical dike safety issues
The DMA states that changes must not be made to a dike or to the area adjacent to a dike without the prior written approval of the Inspector or a Deputy Inspector of Dikes. These changes include:
- Construction of a new dike
- Alterations to the cross section or crest elevation of a dike
- Any type of construction on or over a dike including
- Utility lines
- Pump stations
- Construction of any works on or over a dike right of way
- Alteration of the foreshore or stream channel that could increase flood levels or impact dike integrity
Policy & Rules
This policy will guide approvals for new dikes constructed in British Columbia:
In addition to Dike Maintenance Act approval, the applicant is responsible for obtaining any required approvals under the Fisheries Act, Water Act, and other applicable legislation and bylaws.
Works shall be planned and scheduled to ensure that flood protection is not diminished during potential flood periods, and temporary measures shall be provided, as necessary, during construction to ensure that the dike functions as designed.
Works shall be planned and constructed with regard to environmental needs.
The raising of dikes or the construction of new dikes and/or other works shall not compromise the safety of other dikes nor increase the risk of flooding to others.
Follow these steps to make a change to a dike or an area adjacent to a dike.
Guidelines for completing necessary design documents for approval:
All designs and construction methods shall be certified by a qualified professional engineer with a background in civil engineering, who is competent in the field of flood protection. The professional engineer shall review any existing certified as-built drawings to ensure that the proposed design(s) conform to existing dike works.
The applicant completes and submits an application package, with assistance from a qualified professional engineer, to the deputy inspector of dikes and local diking authority.
The application package must include the following documents:
- Dike Maintenance Act Approval Application Form (DOCX)
- Dike Maintenance Act Approval Application Form (PDF)
- General location plan
- Detailed site plan
- Preliminary design drawings & specifications (Step 1)
- Design brief clearly discussing all design calculations & assumptions, signed and stamped by a qualified professional engineer (Step 2)
- Copies of as-built drawings for the dike (where applicable)
B.C. Government staff will review the application for completeness and will prioritize the application based on existing demands and desired construction timing. Staff will inform the applicant if additional information is required and the estimated amount of time required for the technical review.
During this step, B.C. Government staff may correspond directly with the engineer of record and may require modifications to the design and re-submission of drawings and reports. An on-site meeting may also be necessary.
A detailed technical review of the application is typically completed within 30 days. However, it is strongly recommended that a completed application package be submitted 90 days prior to the construction date, especially if construction is to take place during a fisheries window.
The B.C. Government will provide a conditional approval letter for the accepted design. The conditions will usually include the need for the engineer of record to supervise construction.
The engineer of record shall supervise construction. B.C. Government staff must be notified of the construction dates since staff may need to inspect the site during construction.
After construction operations are completed, the engineer of record shall submit signed and stamped construction reports and as-built drawings to the B.C. Government (2 copies) and the local diking authority.
Government staff and the diking authority will update their records accordingly to assist with future dike operation, maintenance and emergency response. Depending on the type of construction, an operation and maintenance manual may be required.
Not all flood protection works in British Columbia are considered to be dikes. Therefore, some structures are not subject to regulation under the DMA. For example, erosion protection works are generally not regulated, unless they directly protect a dike or form part of a larger diking system.
Under the DMA, a private dike is a dike built on private property that protects only that property. Private dikes are not regulated under the DMA and approvals are not required for works related to private dikes. However, work related to private dikes may require authorizations and approvals under other pieces of legislation such as the Water Act and the Fisheries Act.