SVCA closes public access to Middle Durham Dam

The Middle Durham Dam. (Photo provided by Shannon Wood, Manager of Communications, BSc, Saugeen Conservation)

The Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority (SVCA) is closing all public access to the Middle Durham Dam.

In a release on July 10th, the SVCA says it is closing the dam access due to increased public use with a lack of respect for public safety. The SVCA says it has become clear that individuals accessing the dam have put themselves and others at risk by not adhering to safety guidelines, especially close to a major dam.

The SVCA is working closely with both the Municipality of West Grey and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to ensure that measures are put into place that will help safeguard the public from potential hazards to the best of their ability.

Also, the public is being asked to respect the fencing that has been installed along the top of the dam. Anyone caught in the fenced area or jumping from the dam structure may be charged with trespassing. The SVCA is apologizing to the public that the actions of a few have caused this closure.

“While we certainly appreciate that people are eager to get out and enjoy the summer months, we cannot condone unsafe behavior that could result in personal injury,” said Jo-Anne Harbinson, Manager of Water Resources and Stewardship Services.

Harbinson added, “We are very disappointed to be put in the position of having to close access, but public safety is always first and foremost.”