Dams in the North Okanagan are spilling over due to spring melt, a process theRegional District of North Okanagan says is normal this time of year. (RDNO photo)

Dam spilling not a concern, North Okanagan district says

RDNO says dam spilling is a routine function this time of year

Dams in the North Okanagan are spilling over due to the spring melt, a process the district says is normal and expected for this time of year.

Regional District of North Okanagan said Thursday they’ve received calls about dam breaches, but clarified the spilling over is by design, and far from an emergency.

“Dams are designed to spill into the natural waterways once the reservoirs are full to protect against the dam overtopping. This is the normal function of dams and reservoirs, and our staff closely monitor this process,” said Zee Marcolin, RDNO general manager of utilities.

“A dam spilling is very different from a dam breaching. We know there have been some reports that the dam breached, but that is not true. A dam breach would be an emergency situation while the dam spilling is a routine function that occurs every spring when the snow melts,” said Marcolin.

READ MORE: Flood potential puts Lumby on evacuation alert

The RDNO has multiple dams holding water in reservoir lakes before the water makes its way to treatment facilities and then to the taps of residents.

In the spring, when the snow melts, reservoirs commonly reach their maximum water levels and then overflow into spillways. These spillways are designed to handle the spring runoff and protect the dams while keeping the lake at manageable levels.

The Greater Vernon Water Grizzly Dam has reached its maximum capacity and is spilling into Haddo Dam, which in turn is expected to reach maximum capacity today (May 7) and start spilling into Duteau Creek.

Aberdeen Dam is not yet full but is expected to fill in the next few weeks.

The spillways channel the water to creeks and streams, which causes the water to rise and move quickly at a higher volume. Those living or working near creeks and streams are reminded to be aware that water levels can rise quickly this time of year, and people should exercise caution around the fast-moving water.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Kelowna residents frustrated after Mill Creek floods homes


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

flood watch

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon rapper feeds the need amid Strange Times

NOX donates to Food Bank for every stream

Armstrong restaurant heading to Shuswap

Fairways Bistro at Royal York Golf Course closes due to COVID but will reopen in Salmon Arm

Fundraiser launched to support Vernon gym owners forced to close amid COVID-19

9Round Fitness in Vernon Square Mall owners announced permanent closure of facility May 25

Salmon River upgraded to flood watch, residents warned to protect property

Forecast of high temperatures, rain could lead to rapid rise in waters in North Okanagan, Shuswap

Reconsider downtown Vernon OD prevention site: city council

Several members of council voiced concerns about Interior Health’s expansion

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Peachland recovery task force proposes larger patios

Several initiatives proposed by the Peachland COVID-19 recovery task force will go to council tonight

Fatal motorcycle crash on Highway 97 near Summerland

The incident involving a motorcycle happened just before 4 p.m.

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read