"Stay Clear! Stay Safe" In Niagara Region This March Break

Mar 11, 2009

    OPG warns that warmer weather means faster and higher water

    TORONTO, March 11 /CNW/ - Ontario Power Generation (OPG) officials are
reminding parents to use extreme care around Ontario waterways this March
Break, particularly on rivers and lakes that are near hydroelectric stations
and dams.
    "Our message is: Stay Clear! Stay Safe!" said Dave Heath, Plant Manager
for OPG's Niagara Plant Group.
    "The rising temperatures mean thinning ice and more water flowing through
our dams and stations, so parents need to remind their children that waterways
and riverbanks aren't playgrounds," he said.
    Most hydroelectric facilities are remotely controlled by operators who
may be kilometres away. To meet the fluctuating demand for electricity
throughout the day, these operators open or close dams or start or stop
generators as needed. This causes frequent and rapid changes in the water flow
and levels often creating strong undertows, turbulence and sudden, powerful
gushes of water moving downstream in what was once calm looking surface water.
    All waterways where an OPG dam or hydroelectric station is located have
well-positioned warning signs, buoys, fences, booms and barriers.
    "They are there for the public's safety and to let everyone know that the
areas around the signs are dangerous, so Stay Clear! Stay Safe!," Heath.

    OPG offers the public a number of educational materials on water safety
around dams and hydroelectric stations including a brochure, a DVD for adults
and an educational interactive computer game for children. The OPP and OPG
also have a television ad that warns people to stay clear, and stay safe near
hydroelectric dams and stations. You can view the ad, or request free
educational materials by visiting www.opg.com

For further information:

For further information: OPG MEDIA CONTACT: Media Desk - 1-877-592-4008
or (416) 592-4008