SaskPower is looking to mitigate safety risks and hazards at the Boundary Dam Reservoir and around the power station, and so the Crown corporation hosted an open house on May 22 at the Estevan Royal Canadian Legion.
Stakeholder engagement and consultation director Bernie Bolen said SaskPower held the open house because the corporation wants to consult affected individuals about their ongoing facility evaluation program.
"SaskPower would like to talk to people, using the reservoir, to find out as much as we can about how it's being used, where it's being used, and find out where some of the opportunities to use the reservoir are not very safe at the moment," said Bolen.
Thanks to erosion, there are a number of fairly steep cliffs along the reservoir that are a safety hazard, he said. Some areas near the spillway and the cooling water have turbulent and fast-moving water that can present a risk to boaters and users of the reservoirs.
The flood of 2011 aren't related to the safety issues, Bolen said, even though the spillway was open for many weeks.
"There are risks associated with the reservoir that are always there," said Bolen.
But Bolen said people should still be aware of the risk posed by the spillway when it is open, and water is flowing from the reservoir.
Bolen said the possible solutions for the safety risks could be proper signage that warns people, additional fencing for security, contouring shorelines and placing buoys in the water.
"Lots of things are under consideration at this time, but no specific plans have been finalized at this point," said Bolen.
Places where people like to fish, and other high-traffic areas, could be affected by changes, Bolen said. But the boat launch areas, such as those at Yankee Point or Woodlawn Regional Park, likely won't be impacted.
SaskPower will take the information that they receive from people during the open house, Bolen said, then look at the high-risk areas, and do what they can to make the reservoir safer without restricting usage.
Bolen said people who use the reservoir enjoy it, and hope to continue using it in the future. SaskPower wants to see the reservoir remain a popular recreation and tourism site.