BC Hydro will release higher volumes of water down the Puntledge River on Nov. 24-25. Black Press file photo

BC Hydro will release higher volumes of water down the Puntledge River on Nov. 24-25. Black Press file photo

BC Hydro testing hydroelectric facility system along Puntledge River all week

Tests will result in high water levels, possible siren initiation

BC Hydro will be conducting some scheduled testing of the Puntledge River hydroelectric facility system, Tuesday through Friday (Nov. 24-27), which will result in high river flows, and may initiate the siren system.

Tests include checking the turbine inlet valve, which controls water flows from the penstock into the turbine/generator, and the pressure relief valve, where if the generator goes offline, water flows are immediately redirected through this valve to maintain downstream river flows for fish habitat.

These maintenance tests are to ensure the equipment is operating as designed and are reliable.

“In the early morning of November 24, we will increase the Puntledge River flow from about 30 cubic metres per second (m3/s) to about 85 m3/s,” said BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson. “Flows will remain at this elevated level throughout the day on November 24 and possibly November 25. This is when the most significant tests will be carried out with flow changes going up and down from the powerhouse, and below the Puntledge Diversion Dam.

“For public safety, the high flow rate will discourage the public from entering the river and will also better attenuate the water flow test changes around the hydroelectric facilities. With the high flows in place, we do not anticipate the sirens initiating on these days.”

On Thursday and Friday (Nov. 26-27) there will be some changes in the river flows that may initiate the sirens from the Puntledge Diversion Dam, just upstream of Barber’s Hole and Nymph Falls, down to Puntledge Park.

“We ask the public to stay away from the Puntledge River on November 24 to 27, especially during the dangerous river flows on November 24 and possibly 25. Temporary safety awareness signage will be placed along the river,” said Watson.

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