WHAT ARE THE HAZARDS?
There are many safety hazards associated with dams used for generating electricity but most accidents occur because people are unaware of the risks surrounding these hydraulic structures. It is important to always be cautious around all water bodies to ensure your safety.
Here are a couple of reasons why these structures are dangerous:
- As a result of remote operation of hydroelectric facilities, some dams can release water at any time, any day of the year. This means that calm waters can suddenly turn into rapids with strong undertows that can easily pull you under the water. In some locations, Hydro will sound an audible alarm when gates are opening.
- Dams have swift intake currents that take people by surprise. Whirlpools and eddies are often located around intake structures.
- As electricity demands change and as a result of water management, gates are opened and closed regularly. These changes can result in rapid water level and flow changes which can pose hazards to the public.
- Waters in the head ponds above hydroelectric dams and stations and the waters directly below them are particularly dangerous. Fast-moving water coming from the station or dam creates dangerous turbulence and strong undercurrents.