Pueblo County: Sediment collector for Fountain Creek to be placed over the next few weeks

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Bedload sediment is the stuff that forms sandbars and clogs the channel during floods. As it passes over the collector, it will drop into a chamber where a vacuum will periodically suck it out. Left in the water will be fish — yes, there are fish in Fountain Creek — and the fine silts that farmers downstream rely on to seal ditches. “It will harvest and beneficially reclaim what the river delivers,” said John McArthur, president of Streamside Systems…

The Findlay, Ohio, company is building the 30-foot collector for a demonstration project in Pueblo that already has gained the attention of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its potential to deal with problems throughout the West. There already are smaller collectors in New Mexico, to improve fish habitat, and Silverthorne, where the Colorado Department of Transportation is using one to remove traction sand (used on icy roads) from mountain streams. The Fountain Creek project will be the first large collector installed west of the Mississippi River, however. If successful, it could lead to as many as three others placed along Fountain Creek in Pueblo to deal with the large piles of material constantly moving downstream…

The high-capacity collector will be able to remove up to 130 12-cubic-yard truckloads of sediment from Fountain Creek after it is installed, probably in mid-May. The collector should arrive in Pueblo within the next two weeks, and will be installed just upstream of an out-of-service railroad bridge near the confluence with the Arkansas River. Contract arrangements for installation are being worked out. The collector can pump up to 800 gallons per minute. But it won’t run at full tilt all the time. “It’s variable frequency, so it depends on what’s going on in the creek,” McArthur said. “The motor will turn on once or twice a day, when it needs to pump.”

More Fountain Creek coverage here and here.

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