Davis Pond Diversion pumping at full force
A recent test run of the Davis Pond Diversion Project proved that the structure and ponding area can now accommodate the large capacity of river water it was designed to, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The diverted river water passes through the gated structure into the ponding area south of US 90, and then into Lake Cataouatche. The test began this week, diverting the maximum flow that river stages will allow, which is up to the structure's designed peak flow of 10,650 cubic feet per second (4.8 million gallons per minute).
Initially, the project suffered structural problems that inhibited it to flow properly. The pump station discharge lines are poised to pump local storm water into the ponding area.
"The project is temporarily working at capacity," Kathy Gibb, public information officer for the Corps said. "We are still trying to ensure that the salinity levels are right, and although we're functioning at capacity, there's still work to do."
The Davis Pond freshwater diversion project is a salinity control structure located in St. Charles Parish, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, two miles below Luling. The project was designed to divert up to 10,650 cubic feet per second of freshwater from the Mississippi River through the structure via an outflow channel and 9,390 acre ponding area. The freshwater then goes out into Lake Cataouatche and finally into the Barataria Basin.
"Two months ago we opened up at 7,000 to 8,000 (cfs) and now the flow has increased to full capacity,” Gibb said. "The problems were caused by a previously unidentified ridge behind the gabion rock weir.”
Another problem identified by Gibb was that the east and west guide levees subsided more than expected and were overtopped by the high water levels in the ponding area.
"It is expected that the additional planned improvements will allow the structure to operate at that capacity for the length of time necessary to meet down stream salinity targets," she said.
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