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Hydro Generating Safety

Generation Facilities

Stay Clear, Stay Safe
Peterborough Utilities Group Extreme Danger Sign
The safety of the public and our staff is the number one priority for Peterborough Utilities Inc. (PUI). PUI owns and operates four hydro-electric generation facilities (dams), along with a 10 MW solar farm and a facility that burns the methane produced at the Bensfort Road landfill and turns it into electricity.

There are many other dam owners and operators in the province. The Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (MNRF) owns more than 400 dams. As well, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) operates 65 hydroelectric stations and 240 dams on 24 river systems. Many of these facilities are in close proximity to us and most of these facilities are remotely controlled.


Hydro-Electric Generators (Dams)

Getting too close to dams and hydroelectric stations is always dangerous. A spot that seems calm and safe one moment can turn into a dangerous surge of rising and fast-flowing water – quickly and often without any warning.

London Street Genetration StationLondon Street Generating Station

Our operators can’t see you.

Most facilities are remotely-controlled by operators many kilometers away. They open or close dams, to manage river flows, and start or stop generators throughout the day and night as demand for electricity rises and falls. This may result in frequent, rapid and dangerous changes in water levels and flows, changes that can harm those who venture too close. Be especially careful when near waters above and below dams and hydroelectric stations.

As demand for electricity rises and falls throughout each day, operators stationed many kilometers away open and close dams, and start and stop generating units as needed. Water that looks safe may become turbulent with little or no warning.

For your safety near a hydroelectric dam or station: 

  • Obey all warning signs, fences, buoys, booms and barriers. They are put there to protect you. The areas inside are dangerous so please stay clear of them. 
  • Stay a safe distance outside of warning signs, buoys, booms and barriers when fishing, boating or swimming. 
  • Stay well back from the edge of waters above and below hydroelectric dams and stations. 
  • Never stand, anchor or tie your boat below a dam. Rapidly changing water levels and flows can take you by surprise. 
  • Never stand below a dam, or anchor or tie your boat there. Rapidly changing water levels and flows can swamp your boat or pull you into an undertow. 
  • Stay off dams or hydroelectric station structures, unless OPG has clearly indicated where it is safe to walk or drive. 
  • Avoid snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, skating or ice fishing on rivers or lakes near dams and generating stations. 
  • Don’t risk walking onto a river or lake around dams and generating stations where the ice may be thin due to the current. 
  • Changing water levels can crack the ice, leaving it weak and unstable. 
  • Don’t wade into moving water. 
  • When swimming, fishing, boating or paddling in a river, be aware of the water level and check upstream frequently for any sign of increasing currents or rising water. If the water level is rising or the flow is speeding up, get out of the water or move your boat downstream.

Here are examples of Peterborough Utilities Group Danger Signs.

                       Peterborough Utilities Group Danger Keep Out Sign           Peterborough Utilities Group Extreme Danger Sign

  

Solar Facilities & Landfill Gas Generators

The Lily Lake Solar Farm and the Bensfort Road Landfill Gas Generator have perimeter fences installed around them. It’s important to stay clear of the fence and never attempt to get inside the fence. These facilities are equipped with high voltage electrical equipment and only qualified personnel should be around it.

Obey all warning signs and fences. They are there to protect you. Stay clear of them.

Lily Lake Solar Farm Sign 


Resource materials
Please take a few moments to review the Stay Clear, Stay Safe brochure issued by Ontario Power Generation, which describes the safety precautions you need to take when near hydroelectric stations and dams.

Ontario Power Generation
www.opg.com/Pages/home.aspx