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Cherry Creek Reservoir annual sediment flushing exercise scheduled

Published May 23, 2016

Omaha, NE — The annual sediment flushing exercise will be completed at Cherry Creek Reservoir, near Aurora, Colorado on Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

Katie Seefus, water manager in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' 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. "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. The 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 31. The actual flushing exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1 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 1 release 300 cfs  9-9:30 a.m.
 Gate 1 release 1300 cfs  9:30-9:40 a.m.
 Gate 1 release 300 cfs  9:40-10 am
 Gate 1 closed  10 a.m.
 Gate 2 release 1300 cfs  10-10:10 a.m.
 Gate 2 release 300 cfs  10:10-10:30 a.m.
 Gate 2 closed  10:30 a.m.
 Gate 3 release 1300 cfs  10:30-10:40 a.m.
 Gate 3 release 300 cfs  10:40-11:00 a.m.
 Gate 3 closed  11 a.m.
 Gate 4 release 1300 cfs  11-11:10 a.m.
 Gate 4 release 300 cfs  11:10-11:30 a.m.
 Gate 4 closed  11:30 a.m.
 Gate 5 release 1300 cfs  11:30-11:40 a.m.
 Gate 5 release 300 cfs  11:40-12:00 p.m.
 Gate 5 closed  12 p.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 to not attempt to cross the stream during this event," says Henderson.

Katie Seefus
Eileen Williamson

Release no. 20160523