THE HYDRO PLANT AT Englebright dam on the Yuba river in California, US, is to be fitted with a bypass valve, to release water in to the river during unscheduled shut offs of the power plant.

Maintaining a predetermined water level in the river has been considered essential for Yuba’s chinook salmon and steelhead trout – both listed as threatened on the endangered species list. Yuba County Water Agency plans to install the US$6M bypass valve in 2004 to release water into the river below the dam when the hydroelectric generator fails.

The bypass will allow water to be routed around the turbine when there’s a problem, keeping the flow constant in the Yuba river.