Author Topic: Where has all the Erie Canal water gone?  (Read 378 times)

Michael Caswell

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Where has all the Erie Canal water gone?
« on: April 22, 2022, 07:26:05 am »
When we recently asked the New York State Canal Corporation / New York Power Authority why the canal has been drained down for so long, leaving us this horrible muddy mess to look at for SIX  months or more each year, here is their answer.




Thanks for reaching out. Our western region engineer provided the following reply:
 
The last couple of years we have been fully de-watering the 17 Mile pool between E-32 and E-30 primarily to relieve the hydraulic loading on the earthen embankments.  It also allows us to perform the pump outs more easily at E-33 and E-32 (less cofferdam needs), perform structural inspections of civil infrastructure, and perform any necessary embankment repairs where de-watering is necessary.
 
I understand that there have been years in the past where we have partially de-watered the 17 Mile Pool by closing the Canal at the Genesee River, and not opening the plugs in select culverts, but fully de-watering the canal is preferred by Operations, water management, and Dam Safety.

Rebecca Hughes
Senior Director, Public Engagement
New York State Canal Corporation
           


Obviously, there is a problem here!  The dams are unsafe in their present condition. They are classified as Class C High Hazard, likely to cause loss of life or property in case of failure.

So, it stands to reason that we are looking at this mess, and the extended amount of time the canal is out of action, because the NYS Canal Corporation has been unable to bring the embankments into acceptable condition to withstand the hydraulic pressure of prolonged usage.

Who's fault is that?
Ms Agte's group the Stop The Canal Clear-cut and several politicians who propped up this misguided Facebook group!

If longer opening seasons of the NYS Canal System usage is required, then the embankments must be fixed, repaired, and trees must be gone.

It's as simple as that!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2022, 07:49:36 am by Doug K »

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Michael Caswell

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Here is where all the water has gone - and why!
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2022, 03:58:50 pm »
Notice to Mariners

Western Erie Canal and Glens Falls Feeder Canal Ė Water Levels

May 17, 2022

Mariners are advised that water levels in the Erie Canal between Lock E-30 (Macedon) and Locks E-34/35 (Lockport) will be approximately one foot lower than previous years as the Canal Corporation continues to monitor more than 200 known seeps along the canalís earthen embankments. Levels may vary slightly depending on the location. The reduced water levels should not impact vessels transiting the canal within the navigation channel but may impact some docks and boat launches.

In addition, the Glens Falls Feeder Canal will be approximately two feet lower than previous years as seeps continue to be monitored there as well.   

Additional adjustments to the water levels, if required, will be communicated in a timely manner.

The Canal Corporation continuously monitors and inspects these earthen dams on foot via daily monitoring with our staff, as well as using advanced technologies like drones and thermal imaging.

The Canal Corporation appreciates the publicís patience during this time and encourages all Canal users and stakeholders to register to receive updates through the "Notice to Mariners" notification program at www.canals.ny.gov.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2022, 07:06:42 am by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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Re: Where has all the Erie Canal water gone?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2022, 10:11:26 am »
Sent in by a member  -

"Lowering water levels in a dam is done for one of two reasons only. Either to lower the water from known seep locations near the top of the embankment or to reduce OVERALL hydraulic pressure on the structure itself.

Lowering water level by 1 foot reduces pressure by about 9% and since water weight and earthen wall density are both constants of the hydraulic pressure formula, lowering water by 2 feet would simply double that reduction.

So our section of the "Canal pool" needed 9% less pressure to be "safe" and the Glens Falls Feeder needed almost 20% lower dam pressure to insure failure potential was reduced to acceptable levels."
« Last Edit: May 19, 2022, 06:46:19 am by Michael Caswell »