BALA, ON- The Bala Generating Station is set to start testing today.

According to a notice from Swift River Energy, the hydro dam will be starting operational tests as of today, with more testing set to run over the next three weeks.

The company says the testing will be incremental and controlled, running from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day.

“Members of the public and stakeholders can be assured that the testing procedures have been prepared by experts,” said the company, in their announcement.

“Plans have been carefully developed with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Ontario Power Generation. During testing, SREL will be coordinating with them several times a day. Daily variations in water flows will cause some fluctuation of water levels. However, the test program has been prepared to maintain water levels within the Best Management Zone as outlined in the Muskoka River Water Management Plan for various reservoirs from Lake Muskoka to Go Home Lake. The MNRF will continue to operate the Bala North and South Dam during this time.”

The public is advised to exercise caution during the testing period. The company will be monitoring around the generating station and dams, but the public is asked to assist by keeping clear of the area immediately near the station while testing is underway.

The newsroom reached out to the Township of Muskoka Lakes for comment on the testing. According to the township, there are concerns about safety protocols during the testing, and they’re still waiting to hear back from Swift River regarding what protocols they have in place.

The township recommended that the public exercise caution up and down stream of the dam area. If anyone detects a sudden flow change, they should move back from the water and get clear of the area.