Milton-Seaman Reservoir outlet works undergoing rehab


From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Kevin Duggan):

Plans for lowering the water level of the reservoir to provide access to the gates that control flows to the North Fork call for slowly “ramping up” releases to keep too much sediment from getting into the water too fast and discoloring the river…

Seaman Reservoir was built in the 1940s and serves as drought protection for the city of Greeley’s water supply. Releases from the bottom of the reservoir are controlled by five heavy gates near the base of the dam. An inspection of the gates in 2008 found that the hydraulic controls known as actuators on two of the five gates had failed. A project to replace the 65-year-old hydraulic and mechanical systems controlling the gates has begun and is expected to last until April. The actuators currently are near the base of the dam and can only be accessed by divers unless the reservoir is completely drained. Part of the $1.6 million maintenance project will include moving the mechanical systems higher so they are more easily accessible. When full, the reservoir near the dam is 77 feet deep. The water level has been drawn down to 50 feet and is expected to come down another 12 to 11 feet…

Greeley officials have a solid mitigation plan for the project, said Ken Kehmeier, senior aquatic biologist for the Platte River Basin with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. Lowering the reservoir level is likely to cause a fish kill when the reservoir freezes this winter, he said, and some dead fish may end up in the river. The project includes $3,000 for the division to restock the reservoir with rainbow trout, he said.

More South Platte River basin coverage here.

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