heber dam decommissioning designBC Hydro's Heber Dam was located approximately 15 km east of Gold River on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Heber Dam diverted flows from the Heber River into the Upper Elk River and the Campbell River Hydro Project. It stopped diverting water in 2006, after nearly 50 years of operations. The dam and pipelines created barriers for wildlife and for steelhead in the Heber River.

NHC worked cooperatively with Hemmera and Mike Miles and Associates to provide conceptual and detailed decommissioning plans for the diversion dam, 3.0 km of wood stave pipeline, a pipeline river crossing, and the outlet structure. The work involved hydraulic and civil assessments of the structures, hydraulic design of the stream channel, restoration designs, and materials disposal and recycling options.

Work on the project involved technical studies as well as broad consultation with the local stakeholders including First Nations communities, BC Parks, MoTI, and the local timber company.

Removal of the dam has reduced the liability of aging and contaminated infrastructure, returned the channel to natural geomorphic processes, and improved fish passage.

Follow this link to BC Hydro for a video on the history of the project and a time-lapse video of the decommissioning.