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New booms added safety measure at Parkhill Dam

Added safety at Parkhill Dam.


New booms are added safety measure at Parkhill Dam

Field staff, from Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), have installed two new safety booms at Parkhill Dam. The booms were installed as measures to improve public safety at the dam, according to ABCA. The new booms have been installed to prevent people using the reservoir from getting close to the dam structures.

The new booms replace former log booms installed in 2004. The new booms are designed and constructed to provide year-round safety. The boom replacement project is part of ABCA’s overall dam safety program.

“We maintain safety plans for our dams and we continue to add measures that provide additional safety for people using the reservoirs,” said Geoffrey Cade, ABCA Water and Planning Manager.

The conservation authority consults the Canadian Dam Association’s Guidelines for Public Safety Around Dams document and makes improvements consistent with these guidelines. Safety inspections at the dam are completed annually to ensure the safety program is working effectively. 

The new booms are made of closed, foam interior surrounded by exterior shell of bright yellow, high-impact polyethylene, ultraviolet (UV) protection to minimize fading. There is also reflective tape enhanced with a warning message to improve visibility for the public. Warning buoys were also installed as an additional safety feature.  

The project was funded by the Province of Ontario and ABCA member municipalities.

The boom project at Parkhill Dam is in addition to a number of other safety measures added over the past few years. Improved signage, fencing, and lighting are all recent improvements, according to ABCA. The ABCA has completed numerous safety enhancement projects at Parkhill Dam including safety warning signs (2015; 2008); access road repairs and safety lights (2014); implementation of Dam Safety Assessment Report recommendations (2005; 2015); safety railings (2008); Gabion basket repair (2007); fencing to restrict access (2006); and yearly maintenance.

The Parkhill Dam and Reservoir safety booms are in addition another boom installation project also completed this year at Morrison Dam and Reservoir east of Exeter.

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