Spillway Gate Reliability Program

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Upgrade to gates for safe operation

BC Hydro has flood discharge gate systems (spillway gates) at 22 facilities that are required to operate on demand for dam safety reasons. The Spillway Gate Program was initiated in 2005 to address spillway gate reliability issues across BC Hydro's fleet of 22 facilities with spillway gates.

Dam safety and BC Hydro

BC Hydro owns, operates and maintains 41 dam facilities throughout British Columbia as a major part of its generating system. It is accountable to the government of B.C., and in particular to the Comptroller of Water Rights, for ensuring the safety of these dams.

BC Hydro regularly reviews its dam facilities to ensure they meet or exceed current dam safety and reliability requirements and are in compliance with applicable federal and provincial legislation.

When appropriate, BC Hydro develops plans to maintain and/or upgrade these facilities to ensure reliable power for generations.

About spillway gates

Spillway gates in BC Hydro dams act as movable water barriers, impounding and controlling the amount of water that can be discharged from the reservoir. These gates are critical components of any dam and are generally used in times of flood when high inflows exceed the ability of generating units to use all of the water.

Spillway Gate Reliability Upgrades

Spillway Gate Reliability Upgrades are initiated to ensure that the spillway gates at all BC Hydro sites can operate reliably as needed.

The upgrades include spillway gates, spillway gate hoists and towers, and all systems such as the electrical, mechanical, civil, protection and control systems. The scope of work varies on a site by site basis, and will be implemented in a prioritized manner.