Springtime safety around hydro facilities

Apr 14, 2021

Headed to the water’s edge this spring? If your outing takes you near one of its hydroelectric facility, GRDA has some important safety tips to keep in mind.

Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority.

As spring weather brings more and more people to the water’s edge near GRDA hydroelectric facilities for fishing, hiking or just enjoying the scenery, it is a good time to revisit some important safety reminders. Also, because spring in Oklahoma often means heavy rains, these are also reminders to keep in place when floodgates may be open at Pensacola Dam or Robert S. Kerr Dam.

Signs, buoys, sirens, fencing and flashing lights are all intended to notify visitors when floodgates are open, generators are operating or water is rising swiftly. It is also important to keep in mind that is illegal to enter floodwater discharge in spillway areas.

SIGNS: Posted at GRDA hydroelectric facilities (Pensacola Dam, Robert S. Kerr Dam and the Salina Pumped Storage Project) to warn of extreme danger in floodgate areas. Please be aware of other signs near GRDA facilities that notify you of no trespassing areas, no diving areas, or unstable footing. Use common sense in these areas and stay well clear of the discharge.

BUOYS: Red buoys and cabling above and below spillway gates and the hydroelectric powerhouse restrict access to dangerous areas associated with power generation or floodgate releases.

FLASHING LIGHTS: At hydroelectric facilities, flashing lights are activated when floodgates are opened or generation is taking place.

SIRENS: These are located at various locations around the hydroelectric facilities and are utilized prior to the operation of hydroelectric generators and/or floodgates.

FENCING: In place to identify borders and to restrict access to certain areas near the hydroelectric facilities.

Your friends at GRDA want you to stay safe when you visit the waters near our facilities.

GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.