Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for the ‘Lake Zumbro’ Category

Lake Zumbro Hydro Drawdown Schedule Revised

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

New drawdown schedule

  • November 9- Start drawdown at 0.5 feet per day
  • November 16- 911.5 Annual dam inspection
  • November 17- Inspection and work near intakes 
  • November 23- Start to refill lake to winter pool elevation of 913.0
  • November 25- Maintain winter pool level at 913.0 through March 2018

The annual drawdown of Lake Zumbro is scheduled to begin on October 28th. The drawdown is necessary for planned maintenance and shoreline restoration work.  The public should be aware that the drawdown planned for this fall will be substantially greater than normal.  A typical fall drawdown is less than two feet; whereas this year a seven foot drawdown will be attempted.  These plans are subject to change depending on rainfall and resulting runoff.  RPU’s drawdown plan is as follows:

  • Sunday, October 28th start the gradual drawdown from summer pool elevation 914.5 and continuing releasing water until a target elevation of 907.5 is achieved.
  • Maintain the lake level at or about 907.5 from November 12th thru November 15th.
  • On Thursday, November 16th the lake refilling will begin. The level would be slowly raised back up to normal winter pool at a rate no more than 0.5 feet per day while maintaining a minimum release of 70 cfs.  We anticipate a minimum of 11 days will be required to raise the lake level to normal winter pool of 913.0 to minimize the impact on downstream resources.


The drawdown plan is subject to change depending on weather conditions.

During the months of November through March, Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will attempt to maintain the lake level at the winter pool of 913.0.

Real-time lake level information, along with Lake Zumbro hydro updates are available on the RPU web site (www.rpu.org). For additional information regarding the Zumbro Hydroelectric Facility please contact Tony Benson at (507) 280-1534.

 

Tips for lake ice safety:

Be extremely careful during winter activities that involve Lake Zumbro such as ice fishing, snowmobiling or just walking out on the frozen lake.

Watch the weather and river flow conditions.

Ice thickness and condition can vary greatly. Be very cautious.

Look out for ice heaves and exposed logs and snags.

Be cautious in the vicinity of the dam. De-icing equipment has been installed along the upstream face of the dam resulting in open water and/or thin ice.

Do not proceed past the warning signs and buoys.

 

 

About Rochester Public Utilities

 

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 37,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.

 

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RPU warns of unstable ice on Lake Zumbro

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) warns of the danger of unstable ice on Lake Zumbro.

RPU draws down Lake Zumbro to a level of approximately 913.0 for the winter season, to prevent damage to retaining walls and shorelines on the lake, as well as for deicing along the dam. Due to a number of factors including increased flow into Lake Zumbro and an emergency outage on a turbine at the RPU Hydroelectric Plant, RPU has not been able to reach and maintain the winter pool level.

RPU will continue to draw the lake level down to the winter pool level even as the ice sets in. The ice will continue to be dangerous because of the drawdown and the lake not being able to settle and freeze. Visible ice on the lake, especially close to shore, may be very unstable because it hasn’t had time to set at the winter pool level.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), ice is not safe to walk on until it is 4 inches in thickness.

Visit the Minnesota DNR for additional ice safety information and view the link to the ice safety level on their website http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html.

Real-time lake level information, along with Lake Zumbro hydro updates are available on the RPU web site (www.rpu.org). For additional information regarding the winter pool drawdown contact Todd Osweiler at 507.280.1589.

Tips for lake ice safety:

Be extremely careful during winter activities that involve Lake Zumbro such as ice fishing, snowmobiling or just walking out on the frozen lake.
Watch the weather and river flow conditions.
Ice thickness and condition can vary greatly. Be very cautious.
Look out for ice heaves and exposed logs and snags.
Be cautious in the vicinity of the dam. De-icing equipment has been installed along the upstream face of the dam resulting in open water and/or thin ice.
Do not proceed past the warning signs and buoys.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers. Water customers number more than 37,000. RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive. Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.

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Lake Zumbro Hydro Drawdown Draws Near

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The annual drawdown of Lake Zumbro is scheduled to begin on October 30th. The drawdown is necessary for planned maintenance and shoreline restoration work.  The public should be aware that the drawdown planned for this fall will be substantially greater than normal.  A typical fall drawdown is less than two feet; whereas this year a three foot drawdown will be attempted.  These plans are subject to change depending on rainfall and resulting runoff.  RPU’s drawdown plan is as follows:

  • Sunday, October 30th start the gradual drawdown from summer pool elevation 914.5 and continuing releasing water until a target elevation of 911.5 is achieved.
  • Maintain the lake level at or about 911.5 from November 5th thru November 13th.
  • On Monday, November 14th the lake refilling will begin. The level would be slowly raised back up to normal winter pool at a rate no more than 0.5 feet per day while maintaining a minimum release of 70 cfs.  We anticipate a minimum of 6 days will be required to raise the lake level to normal winter pool of 913.0 to minimize the impact on downstream resources.

The drawdown plan is subject to change depending on weather conditions.

During the months of November through March, Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will attempt to maintain the lake level at the winter pool of 913.0.

Real-time lake level information, along with Lake Zumbro hydro updates are available on the RPU web site (www.rpu.org). For additional information regarding the Zumbro Hydroelectric Facility please contact Tony Benson at (507) 280-1534.

 

Tips for lake ice safety:

 

Be extremely careful during winter activities that involve Lake Zumbro such as ice fishing, snowmobiling or just walking out on the frozen lake.

Watch the weather and river flow conditions.

Ice thickness and condition can vary greatly. Be very cautious.

Look out for ice heaves and exposed logs and snags.

Be cautious in the vicinity of the dam. De-icing equipment has been installed along the upstream face of the dam resulting in open water and/or thin ice.

Do not proceed past the warning signs and buoys.

 

About Rochester Public Utilities

 

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 47,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 36,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.

 

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Lake Zumbro Spring and Summer Pool

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Due to warmer weather and heavy runoff, the level of Lake Zumbro is currently above normal summer pool elevation. This condition will persist until river flows in the South and Middle Forks of the Zumbro River fall to less than the hydraulic capacity of the Zumbro Hydroelectric Plant (approximately 800 cubic feet per second). Lake Zumbro will be maintained at normal summer pool (914.5 MSL) throughout the rest of the spring and summer season, to the extent possible. However, the public should be aware that the Zumbro Hydroelectric Plant has extremely limited capacity to pass flood flow, resulting in occasional high water events that exceed normal pool.

Real-time lake level information is available on the RPU web site (www.rpu.org). For additional information regarding the Zumbro Dam and Hydroelectric Facility please contact Tony Benson 280-1534 or Todd Osweiler, 280-1589.
 

Tips for safe boating:

Watch the weather. Be aware of changing water levels and conditions that would expose logs, snags or cause floating debris. Be cautious when boating in the vicinity of the dam. Do not proceed past the warning signs and buoys. Tell someone where you are going, who is with you, and how long you will be away. Avoid standing, and when changing seats, stay low and near the centerline of your boat. Be ready for trouble when a powerboat passes you in a narrow channel. Maintain a safe operating speed. Always wear approved personal flotation devices (PFD).

 

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 47,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 36,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.

 

 

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Lake Zumbro Hydro Drawdown Draws Near

Monday, October 26th, 2015

The annual drawdown of Lake Zumbro is scheduled to begin on November 1st. The drawdown is necessary for planned maintenance and shoreline restoration work.  These plans are subject to change depending on rainfall and resulting runoff.  RPU’s drawdown plan is as follows:

 

  • Sunday, November 1st start the gradual drawdown from summer pool elevation 914.5 and continuing releasing water until a target elevation of 911.5 is achieved.
  • Maintain the lake level at or about 911.5 from Saturday, November 7th thru Saturday, November 14th.
  • On Monday, November 14th the lake refilling will begin.  The level would be slowly raised back up to normal winter pool at a rate no more than 0.5 feet per day while maintaining a minimum release of 70 cfs.  We anticipate a minimum of 8 days will be required to raise the lake level to normal winter pool of 913.0 to minimize the impact on downstream resources.

 

 

The drawdown plan is subject to change depending on weather conditions.

 

During the months of November through March, Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will attempt to maintain the lake level at the winter pool level of 913.0.

 

Real-time lake level information, along with Lake Zumbro hydro updates are available on the RPU web site (www.rpu.org). For additional information regarding the Zumbro Hydroelectric Facility please contact Tony Benson at (507) 280-1534.

 

 

Tips for lake ice safety:

 

Be extremely careful during winter activities that involve Lake Zumbro such as ice fishing, snowmobiling or just walking out on the frozen lake.

Watch the weather and river flow conditions.

Ice thickness and condition can vary greatly. Be very cautious.

Look out for ice heaves and exposed logs and snags.

Be cautious in the vicinity of the dam. De-icing equipment has been installed along the upstream face of the dam resulting in open water and/or thin ice.

Do not proceed past the warning signs and buoys.

 

About Rochester Public Utilities

 

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 120 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 38,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include smart grid, water sustainability, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.

 

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