Hydroelectric dam. © Can Stock Photo / rookman48

OPG: Stay Away From Hydro Dams and Stations

Hydroelectric stations are no place to be around this long weekend.

With Thanksgiving weekend underway and people taking advantage of the mild weather to explore the outdoors, Ontario Power Generation has put out a reminder to people not to be near hydroelectric dams, or play in water near hydro property.

“Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to go outside and enjoy the fall colours with family and friends, but water levels near dams and hydroelectric stations can change quickly and change without notice,” says Mike Martelli, OPG’s president of renewable generation power marketing in a press release. “Stay clear, stay safe this long weekend by obeying all warning signs, buoys, booms and barriers near hydroelectric stations and dams.”

Staying a safe distance away from those warning signs, buoys and booms is vital, says Martelli. The signs are not meant to spoil people’s fun but to keep people safe.

The OPG warns against standing, anchoring or tying a vessel of any kind below a dam. Water levels may change with no warning and create a dangerous situation.

There are 66 hydroelectric stations and 241 dams operated by the OPG on 24 river systems across Ontario, says Martelli. Most of the time they are controlled by operators who are not on site and are usually not aware there may be people nearby swimming, rafting or kayaking.

With that in mind, water that may be calm one minute may be turbulent and dangerous the next minute. This can result in very hazardous instances that could lead to a fun outing turning to tragedy.

For complete information about the OPG’s water safety initiatives, click here.