Warning booms at GRCA dams being installed
The Grand River Conservation Authority is installing warning booms or white buoys upstream of GRCA dams to warn paddlers, anglers and boaters to stay away from the dams.
This is one of many safety procedures developed by the GRCA to reduce the risk for people who enjoy water activities on rivers. The hazards around dams can cause serious trouble and the risk of death if warning signs are ignored.
The older orange booms at dams are gradually being replaced by yellow booms, consistent with regulations set by Transport Canada, which oversees navigable waterways. For this reason, some of the booms are orange and some are yellow. The booms are made of plastic floats joined together by a chain.
Installation is planned for these dates, although the schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions:
• Tuesday, April 18 Rockwood and Everton
• Thursday, April 20 Wellington Street (Guelph), Conestogo and Woolwich
• Friday, April 21 Bissell and Drimmie (Elora), Shand Dam (Belwood)
• Monday, May 1 Byng Island (Dunnville)
• Tuesday, May 2 Caledonia and Wilkes Dam (Brantford)
• Wednesday, May 3 New Hamburg and Parkhill (Cambridge)
• Thursday, May 4 Baden and Wellesley
• Friday, May 5 Breslau and New Dundee
The water around dams can look peaceful, but the area upstream and downstream is much more dangerous than it appears. Water surges through gates or over the dam, creating strong undertows and backwash below the dam, where you can be pinned below the water.
The buoys and booms are installed each spring and then removed in the fall before winter freeze-up.