BC Hydro ended the extra water release from Comox dam on Dec. 27 after the conclusion of the many storms to hit the region. It was able to get the reservoir level to a good position, and it continues to be well positioned, for this time of year for future flood risk management considerations. Hydro released extra water down the Puntledge River for about 17 days – many of those days with the two spillway gates wide open during low tides.
The Comox Lake reservoir is at 133.6 metres and slowly rising.
“We have about 1.7 metres of reservoir storage room before water begins to free-spill over the concrete spillway,” a news release states. “We need to do some improvements to our fish screen works located at the Puntledge River diversion dam, which is located about 3.7 km below the Comox dam. This work is needed for increased efficiency in screening fish that may enter the penstock, which delivers water to the powerhouse, back into the river.”
The maintenance work will take place from Jan. 2 to 5.
Hydro is also looking at a forecasted moderate to heavy storm that may hit the area on Wednesday and Thursday.
The current water release from the Comox dam down the Puntledge River is 30 m3/s. Beginning Tuesday night, the water release will increase to 50 m3/s out of consideration for the forecasted storm. The generating station will be off-line for three days while the maintenance work takes place.
With generating station offline, that means a higher water flow down the Nymph Falls and Stotan Falls section of the river. The flow rate in other parts of the Puntledge will also be up.
BC Hydro is providing a public safety notice for people to be cautious around the Puntledge River through the week.