Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is urging people to exercise extreme care around Ontario waterways this Labour Day long weekend, particularly on rivers and lakes near hydroelectric stations and dams.
For many people, the Labour Day weekend is the final opportunity of the season to enjoy a boat ride or swim. This year, cold, wet weather in much of the province has resulted in water levels and flows that are higher than average in many waterways. While it is wise to use extra caution in the water under such conditions, it is especially important at any time of the year when near hydroelectric dams and stations. Water conditions may appear to be safe, but, as the new OPG television ad says, “The Danger is Real” near a hydro station, no matter what it seems. OPG is urging people to stay clear and stay safe of hydroelectric facilities at all times of the year.
Most hydroelectric facilities are remotely controlled by operators located many kilometres away. They may open dams and start and stop generators many times throughout the day. This causes numerous and rapid changes in the water levels and flows. These changing conditions produce powerful gushes of water that create strong undertows. While the water may look calm on the surface, down below, it is extremely turbulent and very dangerous.
The Ontario Provincial Police and Ontario Power Generation have partnered to bring a new public service announcement (PSA) to warn people of the dangers near hydroelectric dams and stations. Visit www.opg.com/watersafety to watch, “The Danger is Real”, and to see other unique online resources that will help you and your family stay safe this fall and all year long.