The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, will conduct its annual sediment flushing exercise at Cherry Creek Reservoir, Colorado, Wednesday, May 26.
Katie Seefus, water manager, Omaha District said that the exercise involves high releases from Cherry Creek Dam, located south of Interstate 225 near 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 on Tuesday, May 25, at 2:30 p.m. The actual flushing exercise will take place Wednesday, May 26, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 12:30 p.m. when the release will be set back to normal levels. The exact times are subject to change based on conditions. Each of the five gates will take turns releasing a maximum of 250 cfs. The water’s travel time from Cherry Creek Dam to the streamgage located at the Champa Street Bridge is approximately six hours.
Col. Mark Himes, Omaha District commander 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.
"In the interest of public safety I urge the public not to attempt to cross the stream during this event," Himes said.
The high flows will cause higher than normal creek levels and potential flooding of bike paths and stream crossings, he added.
Release no. 21-037