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Cleveland Dam Safety Enhancements Program




Cleveland Dam Safety Enhancements ProgramCleveland Dam Safety Enhancements Program<div class="ExternalClass8442998F567842FD99804BD177E9F908"><div class="ExternalClass60F032B300F94F65B1E3EED44E6FDE6B"> <p>On Thursday, October 1, 2020, the spillway gate at the Cleveland Dam released a large volume of water into the Capilano River while it was undergoing maintenance. We recognize the impact that this has had on everyone involved and are committed to ensuring this never happens again. As part of our commitment to make improvements to our system we are conducting a comprehensive review of the Cleveland Dam and implementing a number of new safety enhancements.<br></p><h3>What’s new</h3><p>We have installed an interim public warning system that includes audible and visible alarms and additional public warning signs. We are now undertaking work to develop both a public education program and the long-term enhancements along the river.</p><p>Throughout summer 2022 – summer 2023 you can expect to see:</p><ul><li>Engineering teams completing on-site studies and hydraulic modeling of the Capilano River</li><li>Updated project information signs and website content</li><li>A third-party engineer co​​nsulting firm conducting onsite surveys to determine patterns of the public and river users along the Capilano River to inform the long-term public safety enhancements.<br>The purpose of the survey is to collect a statistically valid sample to determine: <ul><li>Who the River Users are?  Collect demographic data<br></li><li>Where the River Users are? Use maps to identify where people live, work, and recreation in the vicinity of the Capilano River<br></li><li>When the River users are in the River? Identify users during di​fferent time of day, time of week, varying throughout the seasons<br></li><li>What are the River Users doing? Identify activities that River Users are performing<br></li></ul></li><li>Opportunities to sign up for the Alertable app, a mass notification public alerting system that provides timely distribution of critical information during emergency events (fall 2022)</li><li>A new Dam Safety Educational Program is currently in development for implementation in spring 2023<br></li></ul>​​<br></div></div>Capilano River Regional Park



Interim public warning system alarm locations map

In fall 2021, we conducted a study of Capilano River users to support research on river use patterns for long-term public safety enhancements. In April 2022, we installed an additional public-facing alarm at the base of Taylor Way Bridge. This alarm is interconnected with the other six alarms and part of our regular monthly alarm testing schedule.​​



Cleveland Dam Safety Enhancements Public Facing Alarms Dam Safety Enhancements Public Facing Alarms



What to expect during alarm system testingWhat to expect during alarm system testing<div class="ExternalClassC265DD382BE4439789C01D35AC745FF2"><p>To ensure the alarms function properly, the system requires testing. During testing you’ll hear verbal confirmation, followed by the alarm sounding for up to two minutes. The verbal instructions will be:</p><p> <em>“This is a TEST. This is a TEST of the Cleveland Dam emergency warning system. This is ONLY a TEST. To respond to an actual emergency, you should evacuate the Capilano River and Canyon immediately. This is ONLY a TEST. NO ACTION is required.”</em></p>​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end"></span><br></div>
What to expect from the alarmsWhat to expect from the alarms<div class="ExternalClass9451176745294A33812967AFBA24F836"><ul><li> <a target="_blank">Hear an example of the siren</a><br><audio controls="yes"><source src="/services/water/PublishingImages/SlowWhoopMP3.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" /><source src="/services/water/PublishingImages/SlowWhoop.wav" type="audio/wav" /> Your browser does not support the audio element. </audio> </li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">See an example of the strobe lights</a><br></li></ul>​​<br></div>
EngagementEngagement<div class="ExternalClass311426C2F1BA43E380D79EB96BD5B37A"><p> <strong>Public Engagement</strong></p><p>The first phase of public engagement took place between May and July 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the engagement was held online. Activities during this phase included 30 stakeholder meeting, 5,358 views of our engagement video, 195 responses to our online and hard copy survey and additional feedback received through email, phone and text.</p><p> <strong>Phase 1 supporting materials: </strong></p><ul><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Phase 1 Engagement Video</a></li><li> <a href="/services/water/Documents/cleveland-dam-discussion-guide.pdf" target="_blank">Phase 1 Discussion Guide</a> </li><li> <a href="/services/water/Documents/cleveland-dam-enhancements-phase-1-engagement-summary-report.pdf" target="_blank">Phase 1 Engagement Summary Report</a></li></ul><p> <a href="/about-us/community-engagement" target="_blank">Learn more about our commitment to public engagement and our guiding principles.</a></p>​​ <p> <strong>First Nations Engagement</strong></p><p>Metro Vancouver has been engaging with First Nations about the safety enhancements program and emergency response planning since October 2020.</p>​<br></div>
What we heardWhat we heard<div class="ExternalClass401E68382C5D41169FC6AA86ED8E9E68"><p>Feedback gathered through the public engagement process will be combined with the expertise of third-party engineer consulting firms working to help us design the long-term public warning system.</p><p> <strong>Public Safety Information Signs</strong></p><ul><li>Suggestions to install more public safety signs along the river, between Capilano River Fish Hatchery and the south access to Pipeline Trail</li><li>Comments on the benefits of adding signs that communicate serious risk or loss of life in designated areas along the river</li><li>Concerns and comments on what to do or where to go in the event of emergency scenario </li></ul><p> <strong>Public Alarm System </strong></p><ul><li>Suggestions to add more public-facing sirens and strobe lights along the Capilano River</li><li>Support for the content and messaging used during alarm testing scenarios</li><li>Suggestions to consider adding verbal instructions with the alarms to alert people of what to do during an emergency scenario</li></ul><p> <strong>SMS Texting System </strong></p><ul><li>Interest in expanding the SMS system to include notice of river level changes </li><li>Suggestions to consider updating the SMS notification system from opt-in subscription to automatic push of public safety alerts</li></ul><p> <strong>Ongoing Communication and Education</strong></p><ul><li>Support to continue promoting program updates and engagement opportunities through signs located in Capilano River Regional Park and through social media</li></ul><p> <strong>Park and River User Experience </strong></p><ul><li>Almost all engagement participants visit the Capilano River or Cleveland Dam at least once per year </li><li>Activities most frequently enjoyed by engagement participants who visit Capilano River Regional Park and the Capilano River include hiking, running or walking </li></ul>​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end"></span><br></div>

Subscribe to Alertable Metro Vancouver’s emergency notification system

Sign up for free emergency alerts from Metro Vancouver through Alertable for Cleveland Dam and Seymour Falls Dam. Alertable is part of a suite of tools to support public communication about the Cleveland Dam enhanced public warning system. Notifications will contain information to confirm why the audible and visible alarm system has been activated, and will help subscribers know if the lights and sirens indicate an alarm-testing situation or an actual dam-related emergency.

Subscribe to Alertable

System Alarm Testing Alerts:

  • In the event of a system alarm test, sirens and lights will activate, followed by a verbal warning indicating a test is underway. 
  • Individuals who subscribe to Metro Vancouver’s Emergency Notification System will receive a message indicating that a test is underway and no action is required.

Emergency Alerts:

  • In the event of an emergency alert, sirens and lights will activate. 
  • Individuals who subscribe to Metro Vancouver’s Emergency Notification System will receive an emergency alert message indicating that anyone in the area or downstream of the Cleveland Dam should evacuate the river area immediately. An alert will also be sent when the event has ended.

Disclaimer: Please read and understand the risk​s

The river and shoreline present inherent dangers, hazards and risks to those who enter, including but not limited to changes in water levels, risk of hypothermia, unexpected surges and waves, fast flowing water, rocks, branches and the risk of personal injury, death or loss of property.

Persons using or entering the Capilano River(s) and shoreline at any time do so at their own risk. ​​​​

Stay connected

Sign up to be notified of public engagement opportunities and emergency alerts through Alertable.​

Sign Up​​​​

Upcoming test ​dates in 2024

  • ​July 18 – 12:00 pm
  • August 15 – 12:00 pm
  • September 19 – 12:00 pm
  • October 17 – 12:00 pm
  • November 21 – 12:00 pm
  • December 19 – 12:00 pm



April – May 2021April – May 2021<div class="ExternalClass5D0B531C15574D558BB2B952A3944463">Installation of interim public-facing alarms</div>0
May – July 2021May – July 2021<div class="ExternalClassDB7F003449A44CBCB5DBBE1773E807CD">Phase 1 engagement</div>0
Fall 2021Fall 2021<div class="ExternalClass203FF0695E324E3082C1AD281854B7A1">Phase 1 engagement report out​​<br></div>0
Spring 2022Spring 2022<div class="ExternalClass312E5377249947A8B7D556DDE86AC0FD">Completed the installation of interim public-facing alarms</div>0
Summer 2022 – Summer 2023Summer 2022 – Summer 2023<div class="ExternalClassDBBF2BFC23224426A0C64F2AB57E1292">River user and public onsite surveying</div>0
Spring 2023Spring 2023<div class="ExternalClassCDE679EA5B704DBF9F904047920ECF0B">Emergency Mass Communication Notification System Upgrade Project</div>0
Spring 2023Spring 2023<div class="ExternalClassC10EA73463AF46968857212B70BA9510">Dam Safety Educational Campaign</div>0
Spring 2022 – Fall 2024Spring 2022 – Fall 2024<div class="ExternalClass6D89D29F22054847A6BABC0E345AC556">Phase 2 engagement on the long term safety enhancements</div>1
20252025<div class="ExternalClassB85FEA664DE843B6AC30B6B9264CB5DA">Long term safety enhancements final design</div>0

Contact us

Community liaison
Monday – Friday
8:00 am – 4:30 pm

  • Email
  • 604-432-6200​​​

After hours emergencies

  • 604-451-6610​

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