Dams are an integral part of the Wisconsin’s history and they provide numerous benefits like generating renewable energy and supporting a wide range of recreational opportunities. Alliant Energy operates two dams on the Wisconsin River and has an ownership interest in two more.
Our first priority is that nobody gets hurt around these facilities and safety is our number one concern. As we boat, fish and walk near dams we must do so in a manner which does not place ourselves or loved ones at risk. It is important for everyone to educate themselves on the hazards created by dams and to keep these hazards in mind as we enjoy all the Wisconsin River has to offer.
Using common sense and being aware of your surroundings will go a long way to ensuring a safe experience around dams. As river levels rise above a dam, operators may “spill” more water through a dam and river levels and current can change quickly below a dam. Currents can also change below the surface of the water as well at any time.
Here are few guidelines for when you spend time around a dam.
- Obey all warning signs, fences, buoys, booms and barriers. They are put there for a reason - to protect you. The areas inside are dangerous, so please stay clear of them.
- Be cognizant of any warning sirens and audio messages coming from a dam. Some dams sound sirens and give audio warnings when river levels are going to rise or there is an emergency situation – listen for them and follow any instructions given.
- Stay well back from the edge of waters above and below hydroelectric dams.
- Never stand below a dam, or anchor or tie your boat there. Rapidly changing water levels and flows can take you by surprise and could swamp your boat or put you in the grip of an undertow.