Credit: City of Greeley Water Department News
Edits by David Coulson, Colorado State Editor, Fish Explorer
After more than 60 years of continuous use, the hydraulic equipment that controls the outlet gates on the Milton Seaman Reservoir must be replaced. In order to do that, the Greeley Water and Sewer Department will begin work on a significant maintenance project beginning in mid-September 2011.
The $1.6 million project will replace the 1940s hydraulic and mechanical systems on all five gates that control water levels in the Seaman Reservoir and flows to the North Fork and Poudre main stem. New hydraulic gate actuators will be installed at a level to make future repairs easier with less impact to the environment.
The existing trash rack will be extended to keep debris from impeding flows out of the reservoir through the gates.
Work at the reservoir and outlet tunnel will start in mid-September. Individuals using the North Fork, portions of the Poudre River, as well as Gateway Park. Construction is slated to be completed no later than April 1, 2012.
Decreased water levels in the reservoir and minimal reservoir releases will darken the water due to increased sediment loads to the river.
Construction of the 1940s gate actuators placed them underwater. Removal of these actuators must occur underwater and may cause leakage of biodegradable oil into the water. Construction teams will place oil absorbent booms in the reservoir, outlet tunnel, and in two locations on the North Fork to absorb and contain any oil leakage that may occur.
Increased sediment loads have the potential to kill fish. City staff will implement strategies suggested by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife to help reduce that potential. Additionally, Greeley Water and Sewer consulted with the DPW and will participate in a reservoir restocking program.