We have posted articles (here and here) about the dangers the proposed hydro-electric generating station would create for the in-water recreation that would be just a few feet away. We have noted that the situation for the Bracebridge falls generating station is different, since the swimming area is 1,000′ away, and even the boating is protected by a 110′-long concrete breakwater. The proposed Bala generating station would have a maximum flow of 96 m³/s, which is more than three times the 27 m³/s maximum flow in Bracebridge, yet in Bala there would be no protection for boats, and the popular swimming area would be just a few feet away.
A few km upstream of the Bracebridge falls, Bracebridge Generation also owns and operates the Wilson’s Falls generating station. Before it was expanded in 2012/2013 to its current capacity, the Wilson’s Falls generating station had a maximum flow of 8.5 m³/s, according to the Muskoka River Water Management Plan. Yet even this low flow, less than 10% that proposed for the Bala generating station, caused a tragic drowning in 2008.
The Bala proponent says they have no plans to fence-off the area and their plant would be automatically and remotely started without any warning or advance notice. Silently and within a minute the fast and turbulent water would cause people swimming in front of their generating station to either sink and drown or would push them out to the middle of the Moon River.
Is a “no swimming” sign supposed to solve this problem? Is that the plan? Is the plan to wait for people to drown and then come up with a plan? This makes no sense.