July 10, 2020 DeRuyter Lake Association Update
President Kathy Sherlock requested this notice of caution be sent out.
For those people that have a boat in the water, beware that we are still down 2.9 feet so there are some old tree stumps on the south end that are not very deep. These can cause damage to boats/motors. A couple have been marked with a buoy by Mark Andrako so use caution not just near these buoys but all over the Reservoir for submerged obstructions.
The State will be switching over from the old gates to using the new siphon system to continue the water flow into Limestone Creek per New York DEC requirements today. And then abandoning of the original drawdown system will commence. There is some electrical work started.
July 1, 2020
Just a quick update on a few issues. There will be no meeting July 11th due to restrictions on meetings of no more than 25 people. The Officers will watch the situation and look for a way or venue to hold a meeting. Zoom, webinar, big field etc. will be looked into or restrictions may change. We will keep you posted through the website.
Updated the web site – www.deruyterlakeassociation.org
Had to add a Part 2 for the 2020 Dam Project. The site allows for only so many sections per page so I had to continue the 2020 Dam Project onto another new “page”. Added a few more pictures with explanations.
Dam Project Update - Most fill is completed so what you see now is what will be there. There will be some truck traffic to bring in fill for the old valve house and channel, mainly sand, and revetment stone for the outfall for the new lower valve house, and filling the upper half of the old channel up to the old valve house. Once completed it is expected to put up guard rails and pave the Dam Rd. sometime in August.
Siphon Pipes have been tested and the system is close to being operational. Once it is operational the abandoning of the upper half of the old uncovered channel and the covered channel up to and including the old valve house and the original outflow pipes into the Reservoir will be completed. The cover of the old valve house has been removed to go to a paint shop for cleaning, repainting and will be returned and installed.
Still doing some works on the lower valve house and its outfall. Rebar is in for the Weir box chamber for the 7 flow monitoring weir boxes. These will monitor the flows from the underground collection pipe system installed.
The abandonment of the old diversion channel and valve house south of the Reservoir will be completed. This mainly will be filling in a 40 foot berm to prevent any flow from the larger watershed, middle branch of the Tioughnioga, from being diverted into the Reservoir including its potential high nutrient load. The old gate house will remain and be abandoned.
The Reservoir water level is still approximately 3 feet below crest as all are aware. Unfortunately the region is experiencing drought conditions. Storms have gone to the east or west of us but very few have hit our area for any extended periods of time. Further, you may notice that we are evaporating water now that the temperature is up. While it can be seen in the mornings by the “fog” coming from the surface, this evaporation is occurring 24 hours per day.
I was told by someone years ago that we can evaporate a quarter of an inch or more per day. I have no actual study or science but it does conform to normal drops based on prior year readings.
Having said that, this is a glass half full/half empty scenario, no pun intended. While this “drought” was extremely helpful since the start of the 10 foot drop last September allowing the contractor to complete the serious part of low level work and bringing in much of the stabilizing fill for the east and west buttresses, they were able to start bringing up the Reservoir almost two months ahead of schedule the first week of January.
By March of 2020 most of the snow pack was gone and the level recovered to approximately 5 foot below crest. Since then we did not get the normal spring rains which would have brought the level up to normal. So we are where we are. Who knows, a couple weeks of a good continuous drenching or some large thunderstorms or even a wayward early hurricane remnant could get us up substantially for half a summer’s use.
While draught conditions can be temporal and spatial especially with the climate variations we are seeing, so to can rain events. Someday when time permits I may gather some memories of folks involved in the “Great East Side Washout” back in the 80’s as I recall and put them on the website. We had severe flooding conditions on the north end of the Reservoir while it was sunny on the south end for much of the afternoon. It was like a cloud burst that stop over Brown’s Field because it was the East/West Softball Game.
Channel 9 has a current Drought Monitor for the state that provides some comparison throughout the State.
So remember, the July 11, 2020 annual meeting has been canceled. We will keep members advised through the website if and when a meeting can be held.
June 15, 2020
Howdy Folks - Just a quick update.
Look for an email and notice on the website once it has been determined how, where and when our “4th of July” Lake Association meeting can or will be held. The Officers are hard at work coming up with alternatives that will meet the corona virus restrictions if possible.
Added two more pics of the siphon pipes being installed into the Reservoir from the waterside compliments of Jerry Rice, Warning Buoys at the Spillway and the middle of the dam where the siphon pipes are below the surface, work on the roofs of both valve houses and transfer pipes installed and covered.
Much of the concrete and earth moving work has been completed or near completion.
Scheduled - Once the Siphon Pipe system is tested and operational, decommissioning of the 3 original pipes installed in 1863 will include grouting from the entrance through the dam and ending in the original valve house. The valves trains in the valve house installed in the 1989-91 upgrades will be removed and the original pipes grouted, the valve house space will be filled mainly with sand with 2 level/clean out pipes installed and the metal roof will be put in place after painting.
The original outlet channel from the current (old) valve house to where it opens to the atmosphere will be filled in including the decaying concrete structure underground. This original channel will be decommissioned down to where the new valve house exit enters the channel where new revetment stone will be placed to reduce scour and act as an energy dissipater.
Flow monitoring and piezometer equipment will be installed and calibrated. Seeding and paving of the dam road and reinstallation of guard rails will be completed. Now we need some rain!
As we all know, we have received minimal amount of rain. .041 measured about 2 weeks ago and this week’s forecast is for dry no rain. The radar showed two separate rain events going to the North West and south east of DeRuyter. This pattern of just missing us is a lot like last year’s rain. We are currently still hovering at the 3 foot below crest level.
Date- 6-2-20 - Update to the website – www.deruyterlakeassociation.org
Hopefully, everyone received an email from President Kathy Sherlock regarding the summer events cancellation, working on alternative for the 4th of July meeting, the School is out due to the Corona Virus restrictions, etc. A copy of this email is under the Home Page. Just scroll down to view it. We may be setting up and area for the Officers documents/communications should it be desired. This will take some time and effort depending on their desire.
Added more photos of completed spillway, buttresses, and new under water rock hazard, and crane installation of the 22 inch siphon pipe. These are under the header Lake Projects and then 2020 Dam Project. Pictures are below any text so you need to scroll down. We have over a 100 pictures of the 2019 and 2020 dam project.
Uploaded the 2019 CSLAP Report which can be found under the Water Quality header and then click on the CSLAP Reports.
As many of you know, the Reservoir refilling has been painfully slow as noted back in mid March when the snow pack was gone. And then a very dry April and May has not helped.
Friday May 29 we received a storm of 1.16 inches of rain brought us up to the 3 foot below crest level. Unfortunately the majority went to the east and west of the Reservoir. But every little bit helps.
As of June 2, 2020 the level is 2.9 feet below crest. Hope for some big rain storms.
Updated Canal Corp. Electronic Level Gage link which changed for DeRuyter Reservoir. It is under the What’s New header and then click on Water Level
Below is the link to the State Gage Site.
You have two options- Click on Table View Header and you will see levels in tabular form with the level listed under Master Stage column. Or if you wish to see the readings in chart form click on Chart View, then under the “Parameters” click “Master Stage” box and you will see the level readings charted. You can adjust the time of the reading charted under the Duration tab.
Please note these readings will “bounce” around due to issues with the satellite uplink, reading every 15 minutes, drift in the electronics and the bubbler system, wave action, etc. Bill and Sue Orzell still operate a state staff gage which is more stable and accurate. I will upload historical readings from the old website when time permits.
Check back on the website occasionally because we’ll be adding more pictures and content as time goes on.
April 29, 2020 -
Updated the website with a few more construction pictures with explanation and progress, added a new link for the new electronic level gage reading.
The State Construction Group and the Contractors have continued their excellent work on the Dam Project through March and April.
As of yesterday, April 28, 2020 we reached the four foot below crest level. The level came up only a half of a foot during April. This was a lower rate for two reasons. Most of the snow pack was gone by April 1st and April has turned out much dryer than other Aprils. If only we had last year totals.
So it is anyone’s guess if we will crest for the summer but like we’ve been saying, do some rain dances. There have been a few rumors floating around that more water is being let out than normal. This is false. The outlet gate, not gates, but gate (only one) is set at the lowest possible setting that DEC will allow. As far as filling, all work that needs to be done to crest has been completed. Being down one foot below crest did not create any huge issues last year. Remember we were down one foot by the end of August last year. So we only need three more feet in elevation to at least access the Reservoir from most people’s shoreline. Both Boat Launches can launch with the level one foot down so keep your fingers crossed.
The Eastern buttress is just about completed and up to grade. Pipe between the two valve houses have to be installed as well as the completion of valves, flow monitoring instrumentation, installation of the wetland weir and installation of the stilling basin and new side discharge into the current old channel with a large volume of stone/revetment.
The two new pipe strings are scheduled to be installed the first week of May. It is anticipated this will start the first week of May and will be done by crane and no barge. Divers will work from the dam bolting the new check valves and pipe flanges near the surface and install the trash racks at the base of the Reservoir.
Once the above items are completed the new siphon system can be tested and proven operational. Then demolition of the old discharge pipes and valve house can occur as well as the upper half of the old spillway. The pipes will be grouted and the valve house filled mainly with sand.
The new overflow spillway is completed and is operational should we crest.
The dry April was bad for refilling the Reservoir but it allowed the contractor to get an early start on the earth work. As mentioned, the eastern buttress is mostly completed. The western buttress collection system is finished and functioning discharging into the wetland.
The Dam Rd cut is slowly being filled. The fill material coming in is somewhat wet so only a small amount each day can be compacted before more is brought in. Safety is more important than rushing the schedule. Eventually, once it is filled and compacted, the roadway will be repaved and guardrails installed.
They are calling for perhaps one to three inches of rain the next couple of days. Channel 9 forecast – “Rainfall amounts across Central New York Thursday afternoon through Thursday night could very well range from about 1 to 3” for most. Best chance for upwards of 2 to 3 inches appears to be south of CNY down across the Southern Tier.”
So we’re on the edge. Don’t forget to do your rain dance!
The internet access to state level gage has been updated with a new company, HydroSphere, and is being worked on. So below is the link to access it. You need to scroll down to DeRuyter Reservoir on the left and click. You will be taken to a blank page. Under the Chart View heading “Parameters” click the “Master Stage” box. This will plot the latest graph over the month. You can adjust the time frame under “duration”. As in the past, the readings will vary due to drift and at times will be off line.
February/March 2020 Dam Project Update
March 13, 2020
Welcome to almost spring campers!
Hope all is well with everyone. Just an update on the Web Site and Dam Project.
We changed the format for the Dam Project and split it into 2 separate pages. There now is a page for 2019 Dam Project which is comprised of what mainly was there before. A new, second page was added for 2020 Dam Project. These are still under the header Lake Projects. This was needed because the limitation of content allowed for each page. We will be tweaking these as time goes on.
Dam Project Update.
The Contractor has met all the milestones required so far. Much of the earth work was shut down for the winter but once the weather breaks and temperatures rise they are ready to continue the large earth work remaining.
Some great progress has been made the past couple of months. They were able to clean out the bottom of the over flow spillway of organics, trees, bushes, and junk that has accumulated through the years. They were able to build a small “road” for the large trucks to bring the stone in at the bottom. I have added a couple of pictures showing what a great job they did and how nice it looks. They also installed the revetment stone on the northeast waterside of the dam.
This week, March 14th, or next they should complete the final pour on the final lower spillway wall. Once this is cured, we can crest. The Dam Road cut for the siphon pipes has been sealed and filled to an elevation of above 1280, which is above the crest level should the level rise. The rest of the road cut will be filled eventually to the actual road grade. They need warm weather so it can be compacted every few inches and ultimately repaved.
Now the bad news, although the level is up ahead of the original projection, currently recovered over 4 and a half feet. As of 3/13/20, the level was 1274.47 which is approximately 5.5 feet below crest. Most of the snow pak has melted and the long term forecast doesn’t look like any large March snow storm is in the offing…….but it is Syracuse. Without rain and snow melt to fill the Reservoir, the level rise will slow down substantially. So as much as we don’t want a wet spring or early summer, we may have to do some rain dances to get the level to crest or at least close. Keep the fingers crossed.
Once the ice is gone, the Contractors will be able to start doing the waterside work. They will have a large barge and under water divers to install the “suction” side of the siphon pipes down to the bottom where a new trash rack will be installed. Warning buoys and other minor tasks will also be completed.
The 22 inch siphon pipes between the upper and lower valve house will be installed. The weir boxes for flow monitoring will be installed and the siphon system will be tested and made operational. Once that is done, the 3 original drain pipes and the old valve house will be decommissioned and the pipes grouted and sealed and the valve house filled with sand. The two access roads will be completed and the fill will be brought in to raise the grade in various areas in the east and west buttresses. It will be seeded and the Dam Road will be paved and reopened. The time frame now is dependent on weather mainly. The project could be completed anywhere from June into the fall assuming things continue to go as planned.
The Dam Project web page has been updated with this information and some pictures of the work.
Construction Update 1-13-20
Most milestones have been met per the design schedule. Most earth work on the west and east buttresses have been scaled back for the winter. The water level can now rise due to the Reservoir being isolated from the Valve House with the installation of the two 20 inch valves in the new Upper Valve House. The level was about 7 3/4 feet below crest level on 1/23/20 and should continue to slowly come up. It will be maintained at the 3-5 foot level below crest until spring buttress work can be completed,
Upper Spillway Chute concrete work is progressing slowly due to temperatures. The work will continue but Contractor reports it's getting harder due to cold temperatures. They are heating the area in sections to be able to pour the concrete walls and keep them warm for curing.
There will be some heavy work done at the toe/base of the overflow spillway including removing the debris and organics. Then a large amount of revetment/stones used for energy dissipation of the flows to prevent scouring can be brought in and be ready for any overflow (hopefully) this late spring/summer. The Contractors have begun a road to access the area with some heavy equipment if possible.
Construction Update 1-3-20
The contractor has met the milestone of completing the elevation of the Dam Rd. Cut to 1280 feet in elevation with the installation and covering of the Siphon Pipes through the Dam. This is .2 tenths above crest level of 1279.8 feet above sea level and no more fill is expected through the winter.
The outlet gates are at a minimum now and the level is beginning to rise. We are about 1.2 feet above the 10 ft drawdown level. Current reading is 1271.05, which is approximately 8 and 3/4 of a foot below crest. There is very little snow pack left in the hills as a result of earlier rain so most inflow into the Reservoir is reduced. Temperatures are cooling for the weekend but will tend to moderate next week. There is no major snow predicted for the coming week.
Using the predictive model the State Engineers developed as part of the design of the project and was presented at their information meetings, we are ahead of the predictive model regarding filling the Reservoir. I will attempt to put up the model again under one of the current headers or perhaps a separate one now that the state electronic gage is reporting to the link.
There is a meeting scheduled next week regarding using the newly installed and temporary diversion channel. I will update this page if a decision is made.
The spillway concrete work is proceeding and is expected to be completed perhaps by mid-February.
Construction Update 12-29-19
Met with state engineer on 12-29-19 and the progress continues’ albeit at a slower rate due to weather/winter setting in and rain. But they are still on schedule to begin allowing Reservoir level to start to come up in the near future. Now we need snow pack to build in the hills and lots of rain in the spring to crest the Reservoir if possible for the summer season.
Construction Update 12-16-19.
Discussed status with on-site Construction Supervisor and State Inspector/Engineer and they are pretty much ahead of schedule. In fact, they have mostly met December’s schedule and have started worked into the January schedule. They have plans to work Christmas Eve. Much of the large earth work will slow down due to weather/temperatures.
The best news is the two 22 inch siphon pipes and an 8 inch priming pipe has been installed in the dam and they have started backfilling and compacting. The fill material requires compaction every 6 inches. They have about 5 feet done now so they will hold off until January as there is no concern should the Reservoir level rise. In January they will continue fill. The ground his being kept warm with tarps and heating coils. Soil is being brought in from a heated barn so it’s dry and warm to meet the specifications for compaction.
The upper valve house concrete has mostly been poured and work on the lower valve house is being readied for concrete.
The Overflow Spillway floors have all been poured and the wall concrete will be started soon. They did a test sample with the stamp form yesterday. These forms were required by the Historical Society to make the walls look like the original stone.
Update on Dam Project 11-26-19
We met with the State Inspectors on November 26, 2019 to discuss project status now that the construction season is beginning to wind down somewhat with the approach of winter. We also throughout the construction have met and discussed issues with the State Inspectors and the Contractor. Both have been completely open, honest and helpful dealing with any concerns we have brought up.
First per state and contractor we are at or slightly ahead of schedule even with the amount of rain through November. The priority of worked to be completed has shifted to complete all required work to allow filling the Reservoir by December 31, 2019. Barring any major calamities and extreme weather events, the schedule should be met.
So here is what is scheduled to be completed before the end of the year. The Upper Valve House Concrete is scheduled to be poured on 11-27. The Lower Valve house is projected to be poured before the end of the year.
The two 22 inch siphon pipes will be installed through the dam cut and the dam cut will be filled to above crest level.
The overflow spillway concrete will be completed to handle any crest next spring/summer (keep the fingers crossed). The newly constructed drop sections after the bend will be completed and more sheet piles will be added at the base of these to provide stability of the structure. These like the ones at the bend will be 40 foot sheet piles. A large amount of revetment to act as energy dissipaters at the base/end of the concrete spillway may be completed this year although it’s not required for cresting.
The large Earth work will slowly be curtailed due to inability to compact wet or frozen material. Weather will be the main determinate on how much work can be done.
The collection piping and manhole setting in the western buttress will try to be completed and some fill brought in to start to bring up the grade although not required to crest. Final fill and grade will be completed next year.
The diversion work on the temporary diversion channel started the week of 11/25 anticipating withdrawal approval from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission in the near future.
The Dam Road will remain closed through the winter most of the construction next year.
Installation of various piping for normal withdrawal amounts, connecting the 22 inch siphon pipes to the valve houses, completion of the valves and operational equipment in the houses will be done next year although some can be done through the winter possibly. The complete siphon system/works has to be totally completed and operational before the current valve house and control valves are abandoned.
Most of the water side work will be done next spring/summer. This will include running the siphon pipes to the bottom and into the trash racks and anchoring them with concrete blocks for stability. Adding the check valves to the lines will also be done next year. This will require a considerable amount of underwater work.
Dam Update 11-23-19
As the construction season begins to wind down the state engineers are on schedule. We were extremely fortunate to have a dry September and October allowing the Reservoir to drop the ten feet needed to begin the construction.
Unfortunately, as we all know, this particular project is extremely dependent on weather. We had some rain and snow in November that slowed the progress, but they are still on target to be able to "close up" the dam and finish the over flow spillway complete rebuild by the end of December absent any major issues arising.
The state has as their number one priority now to complete needed repairs to begin filling the Reservoir by December 31st. Most of the eastern buttress work will be completed as well as the overflow spillway. Work on the western buttress including working around the federal wetland, completing the upper and lower water works including the siphon piping and valve house will proceed next spring and summer. This work does not anticipate lowering the summer level assuming the Reservoir recovers from the 10 foot drawdown.
While some work can and will continue through the winter, the main issue is much of the fill required for the western buttress can not be compacted safely plus a large water content also impedes compaction. The last thing we want is for a "blow out" and the State Engineers and Contractor are committed to completing a quality job.
It is also expected that the Dam Rd will remain closed through the winter and next spring at least.
Check back for any updates as we get them.