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Annual Dam Spilling Occurring; Public Urged to use Caution around Streams and Creeks

Posted Thursday, May 7, 2020

The RDNO has multiple dams which function to hold water in reservoir lakes before the water makes its way to the treatment facilities and then to your tap. Reservoirs are vital to the health of our community by storing water for use in drier summer months, but they only hold a limited volume. In the spring, when the snow melts, the reservoirs commonly reach their maximum water levels and then overflow into the spillways. These spillways are designed to handle the spring runoff and protect the dams while keeping the lake at manageable levels.

The Greater Vernon Water Grizzly Dam has reached its maximum capacity and is spilling into Haddo Dam. Haddo dam is expected to reach its maximum capacity today and start spilling into Duteau Creek. Aberdeen Dam is not yet full but is expected to fill in the next few weeks.  The Aberdeen Dam flows to the Haddo dam and then into Duteau Creek.

“Dams are designed to spill into the natural waterways once the reservoirs are full to protect against the dam overtopping. This is the normal function of dams and reservoirs, and our staff closely monitor this process,” said Zee Marcolin, General Manager of Utilities, RDNO.

“A dam spilling is very different from a dam breaching. We know there have been some reports that the dam breached, but that is not true. A dam breach would be an emergency situation while the dam spilling is a routine function that occurs every spring when the snow melts,” said Marcolin.

The spillways channel the water to creeks and streams, which causes the water to rise and move quickly at a higher volume. Persons living or working near creeks and streams should be aware that water levels may rise quickly during this time and should exercise caution around the fast-moving water.

Grizzly Dam Spilling