Around our equipment & facilities

Dams, substations, and pipelines can be dangerous places. Learn how to stay safe around our equipment and facilities.

Dams and generating stations

Water around our generating stations is turbulent. Strong currents, undertow, and rapidly changing water levels can quickly turn a dry riverbed into fast-moving water.

Stay a safe distance away from marked-off areas when fishing, boating, or swimming. Getting too close or ignoring warning signs can be fatal.

In winter, never snowmobile, walk, snowshoe, cross-country ski, skate, or ice fish on waterways near dams and generating stations. The ice can be dangerously thin and unstable even if it appears solid.

These rules apply whether you are upstream or downstream from a hydro dam:

Safety booms mark dangerous water zones near spillway entrances.
Stay away from booms in waterways.

  • look for and obey all warning signs;
  • stay on clearly-marked walkways or observation points;
  • stay away from fenced-off areas such as:
    • booms (temporary floating barriers) or buoys (anchored floats) in waterways;
    • other barriers that prevent access to dangerous places.
  • listen for a generating station warning horn or siren – it means the water levels are changing so move away quickly if you are downstream.

Avoid dangerous waterway zones. Choose a generating station from the map below to see where the zones are marked. From mid-May to mid-October, the danger zone near the spillway entrance is marked by a boom (temporary floating barrier).

This map is for general information only. It should not be used for navigation or to determine distance, direction, or hazard locations.

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Padmount transformers

A padmount transformer means there are buried lines. Before you landscape, click before you dig to locate underground lines.

Do not block the padlock side of the padmount transformer with shrubs or structures as we must be able to reach it for maintenance.

Ensure children do not use a padmount transformer as a play structure.

People who break into a transformer can receive severe injuries or a fatal shock. If you see a padmount transformer that has been damaged or vandalized, stay clear, and call us any time at 204-480-5900 (Winnipeg) or 1-888-624-9376 (toll-free).

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Substations are part of our electrical distribution system. The high voltage electricity inside a substation can cause severe injuries or death. Vandals who open gates or cut holes in the fence create a serious safety risk for everyone.

If you see suspicious activity around a substation, or a damaged or vandalized substation fence, call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.

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Natural gas pipelines

Landowners grant us a right-of-way (ROW) which is a strip of land that contains a pipeline. This allows us access to the pipeline for inspection, maintenance, testing, or emergencies. A ROW also identifies an area that restricts certain activities such as digging and blasting.

If you plan to excavate near a pipeline, call or click before you dig and we will mark its location. The service is free.

If you detect a natural gas pipeline leak, leave the area immediately. Do not light matches, smoke, operate electrical switches, appliances, phones, vehicles, or create any other source of ignition.

  • You may have to walk out of the area as starting a vehicle may create a spark.
  • From a safe place, call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.
  • Be ready to identify the location and describe what you have seen. Stay off the phone in case we need to contact you.
  • Stay away from the building or area until safety officials say it is safe to return.

Operating vehicles and equipment across the Minell pipeline

The Minell pipeline crosses the Saskatchewan–Manitoba border and travels up to Russell MB.
Enlarge image.

The Minell pipeline starts near Moosomin, SK, travels 4 km to the Saskatchewan–Manitoba border, and continues up to Russell, MB. Federally regulated, it has a 30-metre prescribed area outside of the right-of-way (ROW) that restricts some activities. This specific area starts from the pipeline’s center and expands 30 metres on each side.

Permanent pipeline markers show the approximate location of buried pipelines on roads, railways, and other intervals along the ROW. The Minell pipeline is buried at a depth to prevent damage from normal farming activities.

You may not cross the Minell pipeline in the ROW if:

  • ploughing or tilling disturbs more than 30 cm of soil;
  • the soil is rutting more than 15 cm from the equipment;
  • your activities will result in the removal of cover over the pipeline;
  • ground pressure from your vehicle wheel load is more than 100 Kpa;
  • maximum axle weight of loaded equipment on your vehicle is more than 14,500 kg.

Other pipeline areas may have different safety requirements.

You must receive consent from Manitoba Hydro before you start any construction or excavation work on or around the Minell pipeline (for example, installing field drainage, stump removal).

For more information about working safely around the Minell pipeline, or to request consent for a construction or excavation project, email Manitoba Hydro Natural Gas Design.

Learn more about Minell pipeline regulations:

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Snowmobiles & all-terrain vehicles

Avoid driving near substations, power lines, and hydroelectric facilities on or off the trail. Darkness, fog, and blowing snow can make hazards difficult to spot and avoid.

Keep watch for:

  • guy wires (usually have bright yellow covers at bottom);
  • downed poles and power lines;
  • waterways near hydroelectric dams and generating stations.

If someone does make contact with a downed power line, either directly or through their snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle (ATV), do not touch them or any objects around them. Call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.

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