News Release

Stave Falls Spillway Gate Reliability Project

Project Benefits

  • The new spillway gates enable BC Hydro to continue to reliably release excess water from the reservoir in a safe, controlled manner. This is important during flood conditions to protect public safety. 
  • The old gates had been in place since 1923. They were refurbished in 1988 to extend their service but had reached an age and condition that required them to be replaced. The new gates are designed to operate for another 50 years.
  • The program is generating jobs for local contractors and manufacturers.

                o The gates were fabricated by EBCO Industries of Richmond, B.C.

                o Much of the installation of the new equipment was performed by local tradespeople   
                   and local subcontractors.

Project Facts and Background

  • The project includes replacement of the four spillway gates, gate hoists and electrical distribution system. The project is estimated to cost about $60 million.
  • Each gate is more than five meters wide, close to seven meters high and weighs more than 24 tonnes.
  • The gates have to fit so perfectly, the margin for error is measured in millimeters.
  • Project planning and design work began in 2007. On-site construction began in March 2011 and the project is expected to be completed in March 2013.

  • When BC Electric, the predecessor to BC Hydro, took ownership of the Stave Falls facility from Western Canada Power in 1920, they expanded the site – raising the main intake dam, constructing the Blind Slough spillway dam and installing two new generators. The original gates from the intake dam were moved to the spillway dam in 1923. 
  • The project is part of a larger program to improve the reliability of flood discharge gates across the BC Hydro system. The program started in 2005 and 10 sites were prioritized for upgrades. Work has now been completed at eight of those sites with work underway at two more, including Stave Falls. The total estimated cost for the upgrades at the 10 sites is up to $390 million.

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