Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for the ‘Lake Zumbro’ Category

Tour the Lake Zumbro Dam on August 9 and 10 to celebrate the 100 year anniversary

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

The Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) Lake Zumbro Dam will be open for public tours on Friday, August 9 from 12-5pm and on Saturday, August 10 from 9am-1pm to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the historic facility.

Tours of the facility will include learning about the specifications of the dam and turbines, the history of the facility, the output of the turbines, and all of the safety and inspections that are required to operate the dam. Parking for the event will be available at Mac’s Park Place 57444 406th Avenue, Mazeppa, MN 55956.

For additional questions regarding the dam or the tour, please contact Tony Benson at 507.280.1534.

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 55,000 customers. Water customers number more than 40,000. 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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Lake Zumbro Hydro Drawdown Draws Near

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2018
CONTACT:            Tony Benson
Communications Coordinator
507-280-1534
tbenson@rpu.org

Lake Zumbro Hydro Drawdown Draws Near

ROCHESTER, MN—The annual drawdown of Lake Zumbro is scheduled to begin on October 27th. 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 four foot drawdown will be attempted. These plans are subject to change depending on rainfall and resulting runoff. RPU’s drawdown plan is as follows:

  • Saturday, October 27th start the gradual drawdown from summer pool elevation 914.5 and continuing releasing water until a target elevation of 910.5 is achieved. This would be approximately 0.5 feet per day.
  • Maintain the lake level at or about 910.5 from November 3rd thru November 11th.
  • On Monday, November 12th 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 5 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 40,000. 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 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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