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Annual sediment flushing exercise scheduled at Cherry Creek Reservoir

Published May 20, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, will conduct its annual sediment flushing exercise at Cherry Creek Reservoir, Colorado, May 27.

Katie Seefus, water manager, USACE-Omaha, said the exercise involves high releases from Cherry Creek Dam, located south of Interstate 225 in Aurora.

"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," she said. “This sediment flush is required to allow proper operation of the outlet gates.”

Cherry Creek Dam will begin releasing 50 cubic feet per second Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. The actual flushing exercise will take place Wednesday, May 27, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 1:10 p.m. 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 six hours.  The following table shows a schedule of the planned releases:



Gate 3 release 150 cfs

9:00-9:30 a.m.

Gate 3 release 1,300 cfs

9:30-9:40 a.m.

Gate 3 release 150 cfs

9:40-10:20 a.m.

Gate 3 closed

10:20-10:25 a.m.

Gate 1 release 1,300 cfs

10:25-10:35 a.m.

Gate 1 release 150 cfs

10:35-11:15 a.m.

Gate 1 closed

11:15-11:20 a.m.

Gate 2 release 1,300 cfs

11:20-11:30 a.m.

Gate 2 release 150 cfs

11:30-12:10 p.m.

Gate 2 closed

12:10-12:15 p.m.

Gate 5 release 1,300 cfs

12:15-12:25 p.m.

Gate 5 release 150 cfs

12:25-1:05 p.m.

Gate 5 closed

1:05-1:10 p.m.

Gates set to normal levels

1:10 p.m.



Omaha District Commander Col. John Hudson asks the public to be aware that 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 Wednesday evening. 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," Hudson said.

Release no. 20-057