Dam and River Safety

Safety around Dams

Colliery Dam Park, Westwood Lake Park, Upper Chase River Dam, Harewood Lake Park, Linley Valley Drive Dam & Mount Benson Regional Park

The City of Nanaimo dam facilities can be interesting places to visit provided certain safety precautions are observed. Dams, spillways and the areas nearby can be dangerous to the unwary or the adventurous. Some hazards are readily apparent and some are not.

Hazards such as water flows and water levels may change quickly and without warning. Floating debris can accompany water level changes, especially in shallow shoreline areas.

In winter think twice about ice. Changing water levels can cause gaps to form under the frozen surface of reservoirs, so avoid skating, ice fishing and walking on ice.

Whatever the time of year, visitors should stay well clear of dams including water intake areas, spillways, log booms, discharge channels and all electrical and operating equipment. Areas immediately upstream and downstream of dams are particularly dangerous for fisherman, paddlers, swimmers and walkers.

Please respect fenced and gated areas and observe all posted signs. Stay within designated and marked observation areas and be sure to supervise children closely. Also watch out for your pet dog especially if in an off leash area and if near flowing water.

Have a safe and enjoyable visit

Safety on Rivers

Play it safe when boating, fishing or swimming in summer.

Nanaimo River can be an enjoyable recreation destination, provided certain common sense safety precautions are observed.

Because water from Jump Creek Dam and South Forks Dam (located on the south fork of the Nanaimo River) are utilized for flood control and protection of fish habitat, river water levels can rise or fall daily. River users should be aware that changing water levels can conceal submerged hazards, particularly in shallow water near the shoreline.

It is important that visitors be aware of these potential dangers and take precautions to stay safe.

Boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and swimming below a dam can be very dangerous. For your own safety and the safety of those with you, obey all warning signs and stay out of restricted areas. Stay a safe distance from waterways that could have unstable footing or slippery banks.

All paddlers should practice safe boating at all times.

Always remember - where there's water, there's inherent danger, including risk of drowning.

Stay safe, have fun – but be careful!

Last updated: December 2, 2022

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