Presentation on theme: "The Future of Wixom Lake"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Future of Wixom Lake “We’re all in this together”
2 Why the Lakes existThe dams at Sanford, Edenville, Smallwood and Secord were built by Frank Wixom in 1925Wixom owned all the upstream lands that were floodedThe flooding created four reservoirs and lots of waterfront real estateHydroelectric power was a relatively new industry and in its heyday in the 1920sDams provide recreational opportunities and flood control that would not exist without them
3 These photos were taken after the powerhouses were completed.
4 Federal Government Oversight The Federal Power Act of 1920:Established government oversight over power producing dams on “navigable waterways” of the United StatesEstablished the Federal Power Commission to regulate themToday that agency is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
5 Federal Government Oversight Sanford Dam was licensed in 1987Wolverine Power Company, the former owner of the dams, disputed the federal government in court for ten more years, but in Edenville, Smallwood and Secord Dams were licensed by FERCFERC’s regulations require the dams’ owner to perform frequent engineering studies, monitoring, environmental and emergency management
6 What is the “PMF”?The Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) is an event calculated by FERC to occur once every 10,000 yearsBy comparison, the flood of September, 1986 was a 100-year flood eventThe FERC requires all “high hazard” dams to be able to safely pass the 10,000-year flood without failing (overtopping)FERC considers Edenville to be a “high hazard” dam because its failure would likely result in loss of life and property at Sanford Lake and downstreamThe Edenville dam and spillways are currently capable of passing a ____-year flood.A dam is classified as “high hazard” if failure would cause loss of life downstream.
7 What needs to be done?Six spillways will be reconstructed to double their capacity to pass flood waterThere are 3 spillways at the Tobacco River side of the dam and 3 spillways adjacent to the Edenville powerhouse on the Tittabawassee River sideThe total capacity of the six spillways is currently 32,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) (or 14,400,000 gallons per minute)To comply with FERC’s mandate, the capacity of the six spillways will have to be increased to 64,000 cfs (or 28,800,000 gpm)The Edenville dam and spillways are currently capable of passing a ____-year flood.A dam is classified as “high hazard” if failure would cause loss of life downstream.
8 Spillway Comparison Current configuration of spillways The existing Edenville spillways are hollow inside and about 38 feet high with 10 feet of gate.Tittabawassee side adjacent to powerhouse shown; Tobacco spillway is similar
9 Spillway ComparisonOriginal construction of Tobacco spillway
10 Spillway ComparisonOriginal construction of Tobacco spillway
11 Spillway comparison FERC-Mandated alteration of spillways The new spillways will be 24’-6” high with almost 24 feet of gate, and it will be solid concrete.Tittabawassee side adjacent to powerhouse shown; Tobacco spillway is similar
12 Spillway construction Example of cofferdam constructionThe new spillways will be 24’-6” high with almost 24 feet of gate, and it will be solid concrete.
13 Spillway construction Example of cofferdam constructionThe new spillways will be 24’-6” high with almost 24 feet of gate, and it will be solid concrete.
14 Spillway construction Example of cofferdam constructionThe new spillways will be 24’-6” high with almost 24 feet of gate, and it will be solid concrete.
15 Spillway construction Example of Cofferdam constructionThe new spillways will be 24’-6” high with almost 24 feet of gate, and it will be solid concrete.
16 3-Dimensional ViewsExisting spillway construction
17 3-Dimensional ViewsFirst concrete pour inside spillway (summer 2013)
18 3-Dimensional Views New concrete pier extensions (summer 2014) This work takes place “in the dry” behind a sheet pile cofferdam
19 3-Dimensional ViewsStoplogs are placed between piers & rest on new concrete sillsOnce stoplogs are in place water levels can be returned to normal
20 3-Dimensional ViewsConstruction work taking place between 2015 and 2016Existing gate and bridge are removedMore concrete is poured in the base of the spillway
21 3-Dimensional ViewsConstruction work taking place between 2015 and 2016Concrete rollaway slabs and most of upstream barrel arches are removed
22 3-Dimensional ViewsConstruction work taking place between 2015 and 2016New concrete crest is poured
23 3-Dimensional ViewsConstruction work taking place between 2015 and 2016Concrete overlay is placed over entire pier structure
24 3-Dimensional ViewsConstruction work taking place between 2015 and 2016New bridge is constructed
25 3-Dimensional Views Tobacco Spillway to be completed in 2016 New gate is installed and stoplogs are removed
27 Why will the lake be lowered? Half of the dam’s spillway capacity will be out of service while the cofferdam is in placeTo reduce the risk of dam failure in the event of a significant flood, the drawdown will take place in the drier summer months30 years of data show that rainfall is least in July, August and SeptemberFERC requires it for dam safety
28 When will the lake be lowered? Starting in June, 2014 Wixom Lake will be drawn down 8 feet for five months (until October) then returned to normal levelsThe reservoir will be maintained at normal levels during 2015 and 2016The second draw down will start in June, for five months, then Wixom Lake will be returned to normal levels in the fallNormal water levels will be maintained thereafter
29 Will this construction increase the production and income of the dam? No. The PMF spillway modification will only increase the dam’s ability to pass flood watersDuring the drawdown for the Tobacco spillway construction in the summer of 2014, production and income at the Edenville powerhouse will actually be significantly reducedThe turbines are not able to run at full capacity with so little head water
30 Will this construction increase the production and income of the dam? No. When the Edenville (Tittabawassee) spillway is under construction in 2017, electrical production will be shut down completely; there will be no income during this time from the Edenville damThe entire spillway and powerhouse structure will be blocked off with a cofferdam for five monthsA powerhouse is designed at the Tobacco spillway, but its cost is not included in the spillway alteration construction estimatesthis could be privately financed due to its income- production capacity
31 Is the dam safe?Yes. Boyce complies with all FERC-mandated dam safety requirementsThe Edenville dam is well maintained and is structurally soundCrushed stone reinforcing and drainage improvements have been made to the earthen damDrainage improvements and reinforcing are ongoing for the safety and longevity of the dam
32 The PMF is an “unfunded federal mandate” Boyce Hydro Power has negotiated with FERC for more than seven years to reduce the PMF requirementEngineers succeeded in reducing the requirement, but FERC will not eliminate itThere is no Federal funding or grant money available to Boyce to pay for the PMF alterationsBoyce’s income from the operation of the dam doesn’t come close to paying for the FERC mandates
33 Why can’t Boyce pay for the PMF? Net income after expenses from the operation of the Edenville dam is less than $200,000 per yearThe rates being paid to Boyce by Consumers Energy for energy production have not increased in the last seven yearsThere is continued downward pressure on rates, despite increases in energy prices to end usersThe cost of operations continues to rise, i.e. materials, gasoline and diesel fuel, and employee benefits such as health insurance
34 We’re all in this together The cost of this federally-mandated spillway modification project is currently estimated to exceed $8 millionBoyce does not have the capital to support such a massive expensePrivate financing is unavailableCurrent income is not enough and the PMF alteration does not increase incomeGrants are also unavailable at this timeThe State provides some grant money to remove or repair smaller dams, but not to comply with Federal mandates
35 We’re all in this together We all want the same thing: the guaranteed future of Edenville dam and Wixom LakeBoyce, waterfront residents, and other businesses depend on the reservoirPublic financing is one alternative to pursueLet’s work together to find a solution to this looming problem
36 Call to Action Strive to obtain and distribute accurate information Get involved with local task forces that have been established to work with our elected representativesWe will overcome these issues and ensure the future of Wixom Lake for generations to come by working together