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Stay safe around dams and reservoirs this summer

by Erika Schade
August 3, 2016


Corra Linn Dam (pictured above) is located where the west arm of Kootenay Lake flows into the Kootenay River.


With summer in full swing, it’s a perfect time to share with your loved ones how to stay safe when taking part in recreational activities around dams, reservoirs and generating stations. 

Helping you and your family stay safe near hydroelectric power facilities is important to us too, which is why we have enlisted a little help from our friends! Through FortisBC’s Safety Partners Program, we work together with other utilities, municipalities and organizations to raise awareness around energy safety in communities throughout BC.
Alex Love, general manager at Nelson Hydro, was happy to share a few safety tips:

“Between Nelson and Castlegar there are quite a few dams so ensuring that you are knowledgeable about dam safety is quite important in this area we live in,” said Alex.
“Dams often create head ponds that look peaceful and inviting for a cool dip, but remember the flow of the river is still taking place,” explained Alex, “Nobody wants to get caught in those water currents, so only swim in designated beach areas that are known to be safe.”

To stay safe around dams and reservoirs and avoid hazards follow these tips:

  • Always read all warning signs and stay outside of fenced and gated areas.
  • Do not enter restricted areas without proper authorization.
  • Remain alert for audible warnings like sirens.
  • Stay clear of spillway gates that are automated and can open without warning.
  • Avoid fishing, boating and swimming above or below a dam, as water levels can change quickly and without warning.
  • Beware of floating debris and concealed hazards, and be careful when walking on slippery banks and shorelines.

Learn more on how to stay safe around dams, reservoirs and generating stations this summer.