DAMS OF THE COLUMBIA BASIN

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Kaslo Dam

KASLO RIVER

QUICK FACTS
Kaslo Dam
Completed: 1897
Operator: Village of Kaslo
Type: Run of the River gravity dam

HISTORY

Beginning in January 1897, the Kootenay Electric Light and Power, a private company owned by Mr. George Alexander provided power in Kaslo from dusk to dawn. The Village of Kaslo purchased the power plant and distribution system in 1914 for $27,500.

The dam was 18 metres (60 feet) wide dam and provided 41 feet of head to the turbines. The water traveled through wood-stave pipe to the powerhouse, where it was returned to the river. The powerhouse contained a horizontal Francis turbine that produced 250 horsepower (186 kW) that was transmitted into the city centre to be distributed. Growth in power demand and the desire for more head resulted in the original dam being replaced by a larger structure further upstream by the first decade of the twentieth century.

Each home in Kaslo was provided with free electricity to power their front porch light and this practice continued until after the powerplant was bought by West Kootenay Power in 1962. The dam was removed after it was abandoned to enhance fish habitat in the river.


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