Intake site options narrowed
BY ALYSSA MEIER
Engineers are getting closer to deciding on a site for the new intake, which is set to replace the current intake and avoid any possible lapses in water collection.
After the 2011 flood deepened the channel of the Missouri River, the current intake system for Washburn was left a little high and dry, with water flowing too far to the west, or below the current intake structure.
In an evaluation of the current intake and potential 2018 intake replacement project, produced by AE2S earlier this year, it was explained that the 2011 flood caused the low flow channel to migrate, and sediment to gather near the current channel. These factors reportedly contributed to “multiple occurrences that caused disruptions” in water access through 2015 and 2016. A new intake structure would be strategically placed to target the low flow channel and provide reliable access.
Eric Lothspeich of AE2S engineering updated commissioners at the Aug. 14 Washburn City Commission meeting regarding research being done on the possible sites for a new intake.
“We have mapped the low flow channel and taken cross-sections of the river where the potential sites are,” Lothspeich said. Lothspeich said engineers were initially considering three locations for a new pumphouse -- one adjacent to the current facility at the Washburn boat ramp, one about a quarter mile north of the existing pumphouse, and one across the river. He said the site north of the current pumphouse was eliminated quickly, and research is helping to determine the better of the two remaining choices.