Tons of sediment cleared from Logan River to protect power generators
Dec 21, 2023, 6:10 PM | Updated: Dec 22, 2023, 6:37 am
LOGAN — Tons of sediment is being pulled from the Logan River. It’s part of a project to clean up power generators at Second Dam.
It also shows how decades’ worth of muck and debris all came down from this past year’s runoff. As water flows downstream, it brings with it so much more.
“We think that they’re going to take about 32,000 to 34,000 cubic yards out of this reservoir right here,” said Mark Montgomery, director of Logan’s Light and Power Department.
According to Montgomery, more than half of that came down with this past spring runoff. The rest of it collected over the past 10 years since before he worked with the city.
“I don’t think they’ve really done a full-scale sediment removal on this reservoir for 50, 70, 80 years,” Montgomery said.
But this operation actually has little to nothing to do with flood control. Years of dirt and debris can get in the way of the city’s power generators, and some damage has already been done.
The dams in Logan Canyon are needed to help generate power for the city of Logan.
Montgomery said many small islands form in river basins after big water years like this past one.
“There are two generators that are fed by this diversion,” Montgomery said. “One of them is completely disassembled and being shipped off to a machine shop because it’s seen so much degradation from the sediment going through. It’s like sandpaper, right? It’s chews it up.”
Montgomery estimates it will cost around $2 million to clear this area at Second Dam over about 10 weeks.
“Large runoff years like we had this past spring with all the snow we had in the mountains — it brought a lot of stuff down from mountains and because that one’s full, it came down to this one and it really gave us problems,” Montgomery said.
Unfortunately, a smaller city budget makes it tough to tackle problems like this. But the big step being taken here now, Montgomery says, will go a long way in clearing the sediment traps down below, opening the path for better power production.