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Annual sediment flushing exercise scheduled at Cherry Creek Reservoir

Published May 17, 2017
Release at Cherry Creek dam during a low flush year.

Release at Cherry Creek dam during a low flush year.

Omaha, Neb. — The annual sediment flushing exercise will be conducted at Cherry Creek Reservoir on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Katie Seefus, water manager in the Corps' Omaha District office, says the exercise involves high releases from each of the five main outlet gates at Cherry Creek Dam, located south of Interstate 225 in Aurora, Colo. "When the gates are opened, the high velocity of the water leaving the reservoir scours the area immediately upstream of the gates and transports sediment with the flow," said Seefus.  This sediment flush is required to allow proper operation of the outlet gates.

Cherry Creek Dam will begin releasing 50 cubic feet per second (cfs) at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23.  The actual flushing exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 11:10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24 when the release will be set back to normal levels.  The travel time from Cherry Creek Dam to the streamgage located at the Champa Street Bridge, is about 6 hours.  The following table shows a schedule of the planned releases:



Gate 3 release 250 cfs

9:00-9:15 a.m.

Gate 3 closed

9:15-9:20 a.m.

Gate 1 release 250 cfs

9:20-9:35 a.m.

Gate 1 closed

9:35-9:40 a.m.

Gate 2 release 250 cfs

9:40-9:55 a.m.

Gate 2 closed

9:55-10:00 a.m.

Gate 4 release 250 cfs

10:00-10:15 a.m.

Gate 4 closed

10:15-10:20 a.m.

Gate 5 release 250 cfs

10:20-11:05 a.m.

Gate 5 closed

11:05-11:10 a.m.


Omaha District Commander Col. John Henderson asks the public to be aware that the high flows will take some time to reach the downtown channel, and flows from the last gate opened will not reach the downtown channel until late afternoon on Wednesday.  The high flows will cause higher than normal creek stages and potential flooding of bike paths and stream crossings. "In the interest of public safety, I urge the public not to attempt to cross the stream during this event," says Henderson.

Katie Seefus
Cheryl Moore

Release no. 17-046