Dam Removal and Maintenance – A Tale of Three Dams

Thursday, December 13, 2012
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

UW-Extension’s Natural Resources Program, WDNR, and Water Star Wisconsin

Dave Murphy – Director DPW, Village of Grafton
Dale Buser – PE, PH, Hydrologist, Endpoint Solutions/Anderson Perry & Associates
Kent Fish – Structural Engineer, General Engineering

DamMunicipal Water Resource Management – WEBINAR SERIES 2012
David will outline his experiences at the Village of Grafton as it grappled with the decision to remove or to repair two dams. A third dam had earlier been removed to provide floodplain reduction. David will stress how each dam required a unique response and review process, with criteria beyond functionality and cost concerns. Citizen affection for one of the dams evoked a community effort to save it, while the other dam was removed for floodplain reduction, reduced expense and liability, and to clear fish passage from Lake Michigan to Grafton. Dale will tell of some of the decision-making processes and technical challenges each situation posed.

Kent will address the Udey Dam removal project. In 2004, the Department of Natural Resources required the City of Columbus to remove the stop logs from the Udey Dam, in order to drain the impounded lake, which had impaired water quality, and to address dam stability issues. Citizen desire to restore the lake caused the City of Columbus to take needed efforts to repair the dam. Throughout its development, Kent and General Engineering Company worked with the city to obtain grants and funding to cover 50% of the cost for the comprehensive project, totaling $280,000. Ultimately the dam required design, stability and functionality repairs. In September, 2011, the city reopened the Udey Dam for operation. With the replacement of stop logs, dam operators can quickly and smoothly open the dam gates by cranking a wheel. Formerly, this operation was a difficult and time-consuming task for the city.