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Annual sediment flushing exercise scheduled at Cherry Creek Reservoir

Published May 16, 2018
Cherry Creek Dam

Cherry Creek Dam

Downstream at confluence park looking upstream with Cherry Creek on the left and South Platte on the right.

Downstream at confluence park looking upstream with Cherry Creek on the left and South Platte on the right.

OMAHA, Ne. — The annual sediment flushing exercise will be completed at Cherry Creek Reservoir on Wednesday, May 23.

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, CO. "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," says Seefus.  The sediment flush is required to allow proper operation of the outlet gates.

Cherry Creek Dam flushing exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 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 300 cfs

9:00-9:30 a.m.

Gate 3 release 1300 cfs

9:30-9:40 a.m.

Gate 3 release 300 cfs

9:40-10:00 am

Gate 3 closed

10:00-10:05 a.m.

Gate 1 release 1300 cfs

10:05-10:15 a.m.

Gate 1 release 300 cfs

10:15-10:35 a.m.

Gate 1 closed

10:35-10:40 a.m.

Gate 2 release 1300 cfs

10:40-10:50 a.m.

Gate 2 release 300 cfs

10:50-11:10 a.m.

Gate 2 closed

11:10-11:15 a.m.

Gate 4 release 1300 cfs

11:15-11:25 a.m.

Gate 4 release 300 cfs

11:25-11:45 a.m.

Gate 4 closed

11:45-11:50 a.m.

Gate 5 release 1300 cfs

11:50-12:00 p.m.

Gate 5 release 300 cfs

12:00-12:20 p.m.

All gates closed

12:20-5:00 p.m.

Gate 5 release 1300 cfs

5:00-5:45 p.m.

Gates set to normal levels

5:45 p.m.


Omaha District Commander Col. John Hudson asks the public to be aware that the high flows will take some time to reach the downtown channel and the creek will rise and drop throughout the day and evening.  Flows from the last gate opened will not reach the downtown channel until about midnight 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 to not attempt to cross the stream during this event," says Hudson.

Kathryn Seefus

Release no. 18-037