BC Hydro update: Puntledge River operations, water spill notice from Comox dam

November 17, 2017

From BC Hydro:

"The weather this week has modestly increased the Comox Lake reservoir level by about a metre. We had about 240 mm of precipitation in the upper Puntledge River watershed over a five day period. Much of the precipitation fell as snow in the upper elevations. With the next series of storms this weekend and potentially on Wednesday next week, we will need to increase the water release from the Comox dam down the Puntledge River to control the reservoir level. The high water release will begin on Saturday night. BC Hydro asks the public to stay away from the Puntledge River from Saturday evening through to Sunday, November 26.

The Comox Lake reservoir level was trending back down and was at about 132.45 metres on Saturday. Since Monday, it has been slowly rising and now sits at 133.6 metres. The reservoir is full at 135.33 metres, and generally, as we now are into storm season, we like the reservoir level to be no higher than 134 metres so we can be able to absorb some of the water inflows from future storms. The reservoir level will well exceed 134 metres if we do not spill more water down the Puntledge River. 

BC Hydro will increase the water discharge from Comox dam from the typical 32 m3/s range to about 70 m3/s on Saturday night, though we may increase further to 100 m3/s or higher should the storms end up being worse than forecasted. The current forecast has a daily average of about 110 m3/s coming into the reservoir on Sunday.

We will also be monitoring downstream rivers, which is the Browns and Tsolum, and the ocean tides. If needed, we will reduce discharges from the dam during the high tides for flood risk management.

We will provide an operational and weather forecast update on Monday."