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Avista begins dredging project at Monroe Street Dam   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Electricity, Spokane River, Hydro power, Safety

Monroe Street Dam
Visitors to the area near Monroe Street Dam will see a crane relocating rock, gravel and sediment that
has accumulated at Monroe Street Dam in downtown Spokane.
 
Periodic maintenance of the dam helps ensure safe and efficient hydropower
 
 
This week, Avista has begun removing and relocating rock, gravel and sediment that has accumulated at Monroe Street Dam in downtown Spokane, in accordance with state permits.

Scuba divers at Monroe Street Dam intake gates
After a crane operator dredges the Monroe Street
Dam forebay, we contract with a professional diver
to go down to the base of the dam to remove
accumulated material that the crane can’t get.

Click on the video above to see underwater
footage of an Associated Underwater Services
(AUS) diver removing material from the intake
gate. The footage is courtesy of AUS.
High and extended river flows earlier this spring caused large amounts of rocks, gravel and other materials to accumulate at the dam. When rocks and other materials pile up in front of the dam, they block the intake structure, which lowers our generating capacity. This periodic maintenance of the dam prevents damage to the intake structure and allows us to maintain power production.

Over the next two to three weeks, a crane located near the southern part of the dam will collect the accumulated materials from the forebay, the area immediately upstream of the dam, and then place them back into the river below the dam.

“Public safety and protecting the surrounding environment are Avista’s top priorities as we do this work,” said Speed Fitzhugh, Spokane River license manager for Avista. “Redistributing the materials back into the river will allow them to continue to serve as a potential gravel source for spawning habitat in the lower Spokane River.”

Visitors should keep clear of the crane, which will be fenced in for safety reasons. For your safety, please stay out of the river in this area and keep clear of designated work areas.

About Monroe Street Dam
Avista's first hydroelectric development, Monroe Street Dam has been producing power since 1890 – longer than any other hydroelectric development currently in operation in the state of Washington.

Avista, then Washington Water Power, constructed the dam at a natural waterfall at Spokane's Lower Falls. The dam was rebuilt in 1974, and a new underground powerhouse was built in 1992. Since Monroe Street Dam is a low head concrete gravity dam designed and built to provide aesthetically pleasing flows, it doesn’t have spill gates that allow for rocks and other natural materials to pass through. Since the reconstruction in the 1970s, Avista has periodically removed and relocated natural materials about every two years to ensure the plant is generating power safely and efficiently.
 
After a crane operator dredges the Monroe Street Dam forebay, we contract with a professional diver to go down to the base of the dam to remove accumulated material that the crane can’t get.
 
Click on the video above to see underwater footage of an Associated Underwater Services (AUS) diver removing material from the intake gate. The footage is courtesy of AUS.
 
 
Posted by  System Account  on  9/12/2012
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