News Release

Impressive time-lapse video of dam removal on Vancouver Island

The Heber River diversion, a facility used for 48 years to divert water for power generation near Gold River on Vancouver Island, is gone and the river is flowing naturally again.

The diversion has been out-of-service since 2006 because of sediment build-up from a series of major storms, the deteriorated condition of the facility and plans to decommission.

In June, BC Hydro began working with B.C.-based environmental contracting firm Quantum Murray LP to revert 22.5 hectares of land to its natural state. This work included the removal of the 10 metre high, 120 metre long timber crib dam and the 3.6 kilometre wood stave pipeline and the pipeline outlet structure. This created 1,100 person-days of work in the community.  

Removing the diversion provides significant environmental and social benefits for the surrounding area, including the restoration of the upstream fish passage and habitat, wildlife migration and removing a non-conforming use that was within the Strathcona Provincial Park.

The site will be re-vegetated. Most of that work is planned for 2013.