Puntledge River siren, strobe alarm system to be tested this week

BC Hydro scheduling flow changes in river to test warning systems

BC Hydro will testing its siren system Tuesday, May 15 and Wednesday, May 16, including and actual water flow test in the Puntledge River on May 16.

BC Hydro warning sirens placed along the river from the Comox Dam to Puntledge Park should initiate during these flows tests. Permanent river safety signage is in place, but the siren system provides the real-time flow event in advising people to get out of the river.

There will be manual testing of the siren system on May 15, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., prior to the actual flow tests on May 16.

The water flow test on May 16 will be conducts in such a fashion as to minimize impact on the fish stocks in the river.

The process on May 16 will involve first ramping down the generating station, before a subsequent quick-pulse release, which should activate the sirens along the riverway.

For the last part of the testing, the flow out of the generating station will be increased quite rapidly to test the siren just downstream of the station.

Unlike other system tests when the sirens are initiated individually, this test is to determine that they work as anticipated during an actual river flow change.

“We have made numerous changes to the system, including a new siren sound that’s a slow whooping sound that’s becoming the standard sound for all hydroelectric utilities across Canada,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson. “The strobe lights, angled down or up the river corridor, are to initiate and are intended for night-time warnings. The water low test is done once a year.

The normal discharge from the Comox Dam is about 32 m3/s. At various times on May 16 the flow release will drop down to 20 m3/s and hit a peak of about 40 m3/s.

The public is advised that on May 15 and 16 you will hear the siren sounds and to not enter the Puntledge River until after 4 p.m. Temporary caution and danger safety signage will placed along the river from Comox Dam to Condensory Bridge. Staff will also be along the river to monitor the warning system.

The water flow test on May 16 will be conducted in such a fashion as to minimize impact on the fish stocks in the river.

Just Posted

Seventh annual Campagnolo Lecture coming to Courtenay

Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould to speak

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

School for students on Hornby Island ‘normal as can be’: portables expected in new year

While it’s not an ideal situation, the return to school for students… Continue reading

Christmas comes early for residents of Cumberland Lodge

It’s Christmas in September at Cumberland Lodge. The Rotary Club of Cumberland… Continue reading

Big Beach Cleanup builds awareness of ocean debris impacts

First two cleanup days brought in 40 cubic yards of plastic and styrofoam

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

Emergency managers on Friday ordered about 500 people to flee homes along the Lynches River

B.C. doctor weighs in on the kid ‘screen time’ debate

A Maple Ridge mother opens up about her children’s use of tablets, smartphones and television

B.C. councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Tonia Frawley running for school trustee position in Comox

Tonia Frawley is excited to announce that she will be running for… Continue reading

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Highway 19 paving between Parksville and Courtenay

Delays in both directions beginning Sept. 25

Legal society poster seeks complainants against two cops on Downtown Eastside

Pivot Legal Society became aware of allegations made against the officers after a video circulated

Most Read