Water to be diverted from generating station tunnels to Elk Falls Canyon

Increased flow of the Campbell River over falls should make for good viewing

In order to conduct planned maintenance, BC Hydro is going to divert water from the new underground tunnels at the John hart generating facilities to the Elk Falls Canyon.

From July 13 to Aug. 15, the Elk Falls Canyon water flow will increase from the four cubic metres per second (m3/s) base flow to about 30 m3/s. During this time people are advised to stay away from the river on the upstream side of Elk Falls, BC Hydro says in a Campbell River system update.

“We are dewatering the John Hart tunnels, which includes the power tunnel, powerhouse turbine inlet areas, and the tailrace tunnel, to do final inspections as part of the new underground facility, and some related work,” BC hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson said. “This means the water flows for the downstream Campbell River need to be transferred to Elk Falls Canyon.”

It is anticipated after this dewatering of the tunnels, this inspection process may be done about every 4-5 years, unless there is a need for some unplanned maintenance.

BC Hydro will transition the water flow from the tunnel to Elk Falls Canyon at night, in the early morning hours of July 13. Temporary danger safety signage will be put in place at Elk Falls.

The 30 m3/s flow rate over Elk Falls will provide for a good viewing opportunity from the suspension bridge. About 200,000 people visit the falls within the Elk Falls Provincial Park each year.

While there, beside the parking lot, check out the latest information at the Campbell River Hydroelectric System Discovery Centre, which receives about 17,000 visitors per year.

RELATED: Removal of old Elk Falls parking lots underway

RELATED: Record low water conditions in the Campbell system

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