The John Hart dam in Campbell River. (File)

Dam owners urged to take care ahead of melt, spring weather

Ministry recommends regular monitoring, clearing spillways of blockages, reviewing emergency plans

A high snow pack and possible heavy spring runoff has prompted a warning from the British Columbia government to owners of dams to ensure that they are in good repair and that their water is safeguarded.

An advisory from the Ministry of Natural Resource Operations says the very wet conditions in the Interior could increase the risk of dam failures and it’s important for owners to take precautions.

READ MORE: High snowpack could lead to floods in wildfire-ravaged B.C. interior

The ministry says owners are urged to conduct regular monitoring, clear the spillway of any blockages and review their dam emergency plan.

It says owners may also have to be prepared to lower their reservoir to provide additional storage and reduce flooding downstream.

There are more than 1,500 active dams in B.C. that are regulated under the Water Sustainability Act.

The ministry says the average snow pack for the province on April 1 was at 127 per cent of normal, while in the southern Interior it was at 145 per cent, and that combined with the forecast will play a critical role in whether flooding occurs.

The Canadian Press

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