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Rising Lake Levels: Using Sandbags to Protect Your Property

Post Date:08/18/2017 3:08 PM

Update (3:15 pm, August 25, 2017): the County has stockpiled sand at Golden Sands. Check out the map below to view the location. A new sand stockpile has been established just south of McArthur Place (where the Pow Wow grounds are normally located), and the stockpile at Campsite Road has been replenished.

Golden Sands Sand

Lac La Biche County is providing sandbags to property owners affected by rising lake water levels. The County has a set of best practices that will help you best use and dispose of your sandbags, and prevent water damage.


  • Sandbags will be available at County Centre in the hamlet of Lac La Biche and the Festival Centre in the hamlet of Plamondon. Sand will be available at a location on Township Road 682—it will be marked with signs.
  • To calculate the amount of bags you need, here’s a formula: (desired wall length/0.61) multiplied by (desired wall height/0.1). Once filled, each bag will be 0.1 m (4 inches) tall and 0.61 m (two feet) in length. Therefore, to build a wall 0.3 m tall and 30 m long, you would require (30/0.61) * (0.3/0.1) = 148 bags.
  • Use caution when filling and lifting sandbags. Carry one at a time.
  • Do not place sandbags on County environmental reserves. Only place sandbags on your property, or along the property line.
  • When building your initial wall, stack bags closely against one another. They should be laid in a brick pattern—that is, make sure that each bag overlaps the one below by half.
  • Complete a sandbag layer before beginning another. Limit the number of layers to three, unless you use a structure to back it. Tall walls may collapse if exposed to enough water pressure.
  • Remember: sandbags will not act as a seal against water. Moisture will filter through. Keep this in mind when choosing a location to build walls.


  • Sandbags that have been exposed to water must be thrown away—they can rot, and shouldn’t be reused. Keep in mind that bags are made of biodegradable materials, and will deteriorate over time.
  • When disposing of your sandbags, be sure to wear rubber gloves. They may have been exposed to contaminants in the water, and are best handled with protection.
  • Sandbags that must be thrown away will be picked up by the County. If you receive the curbside pickup service, do not place used sandbags in the curbside bins. Instead, place used bags in the bins provided in the same areas where you initially picked up the sand. County workers will dispose of them afterwards.

If you have any questions, please contact Transportation Services at 780-623-1747 (or 780-404-4078 after business hours), or