Throughout the day and night, as demand for electricity rises and falls operators open and close dams, and start and stop generating units. This results in frequent and rapid changes in water levels and flows around dams and generating stations, changes that can affect the safety of those who venture too close.
Calm waters or a dry riverbed could change quickly into one with fast moving water containing dangerous turbulence and undercurrents. Waters in the headponds above hydroelectric dams and stations and the waters below them are especially hazardous.
To stay safe:
- Obey all warning signs, fences, buoys, booms and barriers. They are put there to protect you. The areas inside are dangerous, stay clear of them.
- Stay a safe distance outside of warning signs, buoys, booms and barriers when fishing, boating or swimming.
- Stay well back from the edge of waters above and below hydroelectric dams and stations
- Never stand below a dam, or anchor or tie your boat there. Rapidly changing water levels and flows can take you by surprise and could swamp your boat or put you in the grip of an undertow.
- Stay well back of dry riverbeds below dams. They can quickly change into rapidly flowing waterways.
- Stay well back from the edge of a waterway where footing may be slippery.
- Don’t wade into moving water.
- When swimming, fishing, boating or paddling in a river, be aware of the water level and check upstream frequently for any sign of increasing currents or rising water levels.
- Set an example for children, who may not be aware of the dangers, even if they can read. State explicitly where they can and cannot go and make sure you are close to them and can see them at all times.
Trustpower wishes you a safe and enjoyable time near our waterways.