Warning booms and buoys being installed at GRCA dams

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Over the next three weeks, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) will be installing warning booms or buoys upstream of dams.

Installation of the booms/buoys, which warn paddlers, anglers and boaters to stay away from dams, is an annual safety procedure used by the GRCA to reduce the risk for people enjoying local reservoirs and waterways.

“The hazards around dams can result in serious injury or death if warning signs are ignored,” states an April 23 press release from the GRCA.

“The water around dams can look peaceful, but the area upstream and downstream is much more dangerous than it appears. Water surges through gates and valves or over the dams, creating strong undertows and currents around the structures, where you can be pinned below the water.”

Installation of the booms and buoys will take place between April 23 and May 14, depending on weather conditions.

Officials explained orange booms at dams are gradually being replaced by yellow booms, consistent with regulations set by Transport Canada, which means some booms are orange and some are yellow.

The buoys and booms are installed each spring and removed in the fall.

To learn more about safety around GRCA dams, visit www.grandriver.ca.