Water flows over the Cleveland Dam as people walk with a dog in Cleveland Park in North Vancouver, B.C., on Christmas Day, Friday Dec. 25, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

‘Human error’ led to dam release on Capilano River, killing one: report

Metro Vancouver to review implementing warning system

It was human error that led to the Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver releasing a large volume of water into the Capilano River earlier this month, killing a fisherman, according to a preliminary report.

“While the review continues, we can now confirm that the clearest contributing factor was human error related to programming of the control system for the spillway gate at the Cleveland Dam,” Metro Vancouver commissioner Jerry Dobrovolny said in a statement Thursday (Oct. 8).

“Metro Vancouver takes responsibility for this mistake and our deepest sympathies go out to those affected by the tragic loss of life.”

ALSO READ: 1 dead after water suddenly gushes from dam at Capilano River in North Vancouver

On Oct. 1, emergency crews were called to an area along the river known to be a popular spot for fishing after a large volume of water poured into an area that controls the dam’s flow. Four people were rescued or able to reach shore while a man was pulled from the water in medical distress but later died of his injuries.

The man’s son is still missing.

Since the incident, questions have been raised as to why the dam – as well as the other facility operated by Metro Vancouver in Seymour – do not have public warning systems.

Dobrovolny said that is now being considered. Metro Vancouver is also bringing in expert advisors to assess current practices and procedures and provide independent advice to better its maintenance systems.

“Following technical recommendations by experts, Metro Vancouver upgraded the Cleveland Dam spillway gate from a mechanical to fully automated control system in 2002 and there have been subsequent upgrades. Metro Vancouver has not experienced a similar unintended release of water in almost two decades,” Dobrovolny said.

“We are entirely compliant with all related WorkSafeBC orders and requirements.”

Dam safety reviews happen every seven years, with the last occurring in 2016.

The spillway gate will be closed through the end of the year and possibly into the spring.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Bernice Friesen novel, “Universal Disorder,” will be launched via Zoom on Nov. 14. Photo supplied.
Fat Oyster Reading Series hosting online launch of new novel by Comox Valley author

Fanny Bay’s Fat Oyster Reading Series is going digital, for the launch… Continue reading

A photo of the missing mushroom pickers from the Lil’Wat Nation near Pemberton: River Leo (left) and dad Peter Oleski. Facebook photo/Sea to Sky Road Conditions page
Two Comox Valley-based search organizations assisting in missing Pemberton mushroom pickers

Two members from the Lil’Wat Nation were last seen Oct. 22

Students at Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary kicked off the Everybody Deserves A Smile (EDAS) campaign in 2019. Scott Stanfield photo
Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign adapts to COVID-19 challenges

“We didn’t want to lose our heartfelt hands-on approach.”

Wind and waves were part of the reason why the Sail Canada High Performance Team selected HMCS Quadra as the winter training base for Tokyo 2021. Photo by Ken Dool
National sailing team prepares for Olympics at HMCS Quadra in Comox

HMCS Quadra is serving as the winter training base for the Canadian… Continue reading

Courtenay residents will have a substantial schedule change for curbside trash collection beginning in January 2021. (Ben Lypka/Black Press file)
Courtenay moving to a zone system for curbside trash collection

New system means collection days will change with every statutory holiday

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Comox Valley campus of North Island College. (File photo)
Two Vancouver Island post-secondary institutions launch regional work-integrated learning hub

North Island College and VIU collaborate to boost work experience opportunities for students

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry hears of $800,000 and more in bags, luggage, backpacks

The lottery corporation has said it consistently reported suspicious transactions to Fintrac

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Most Read