NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. — A new alarm system is being installed at the Cleveland Dam along the Capilano River, Metro Vancouver officials announced. Officials added they will also be launching public engagement efforts to develop a long-term public warning system for the North Vancouver site.
“We are committed to enhancing safety for river users and the public and have been carefully examining solutions to determine the best path forward,” said Metro Vancouver commissioner Jerry Dobrovolny in a statement. “Installing these alarms is just the beginning. Over the coming months we will be listening to and incorporating feedback to help inform us on the development of long-term enhancements to our public warning system.”
The installation of six alarms along the Capilano River downstream of and at the Cleveland Dam will start later this month. The alarms will include audible and visible signals. Residents may see crews installing the alarms on new utility poles, however, noise and traffic impacts are expected to be minimal.
Once installed, the alarms will be tested to ensure efficacy. Residents may hear one or more five-minute tests per day for up to two weeks during the installation, and once per month when the interim public alarm system is in service.
The public warning system will be implemented in two parts. First crews will install the six public alarms, a text notification system will be implemented, and signs in the area will be put up.
The second part will happen next year when Metro Vancouver will share the recommended design for long-term public warning system enhancements for further comment from the community before the system is installed.
In addition to the alarms, new public safety information signs have been installed in numerous strategic locations throughout Capilano River Regional Park.
“The engagement process will be comprehensive and thorough, because we know that there are many people who work and recreate along this river who have valuable input for us to consider before we implement a long-term solution,” said Dobrovolny. “We are also conducting environmental and social impact assessments to ensure that we appropriately consider how the alarm system could affect nearby residents, as well as birds and other wildlife.”
The Cleveland Dam spillway gate will be returned to service following the implementation of the interim alarm system. The spillway gate and other aspects of the dam have undergone routine inspection and maintenance.
Last year Metro Vancouver fired three employees after an unscheduled release of water from the dam killed one and left another person missing.