Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Lake Zumbro Drawdown Draws Near


october 10, 2008


Lake Zumbro Hydro Drawdown Draws Near



ROCHESTER, MN—The level of Lake Zumbro is scheduled to be lowered from normal summer pool (approximately elevation 919.9 dam datum) beginning on October 20. Following a gradual drawdown, the lake should reach the target elevation of 917.9 by October 27th. Lake Zumbro will stay at that level until about mid-November, at which time the lake will be brought back up to the winter pool level. The earlier drawdown is to allow for LIDAR mapping by the State of Minnesota and to facilitate shoreline maintenance work as requested by lake property owners.


During the months of November through March, Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will attempt to maintain the lake level within the winter pool range of 918.0 – 918.5, which is about 1.5 to 2 feet below the crest of the dam. Users of the lake should be aware that high water and unstable ice conditions could result from abnormal weather and higher than normal runoff.


Real-time lake level information, along with Lake Zumbro hydro updates are available on the RPU web site ( 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 45,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 34,000.  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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