Xcel Energy warns tubers of drawdown on Apple RiverMaintenance on the Apple River Hydroelectric Project will mean that Xcel Energy will start a 22-foot drawdown of the Apple Falls flowage starting on Aug. 25.
Maintenance on the Apple River Hydroelectric Project will mean that Xcel Energy will start a 22-foot drawdown of the Apple Falls flowage starting on Aug. 25.
The Apple River Hydroelectric Project is located approximately seven miles downstream from the Riverdale Hydroelectric Project and is two miles before the Apple River’s confluence with the St. Croix River.
Company officials say that the drawdown won’t affect river flows on the Apple River, but tubers may have to change their plans.
“If tubers float downstream into the flowage, the lack of water would make it difficult to get out,” said Matt Miller, hydro licensing specialist for Xcel.
Xcel officials say that the drawdown is necessary to perform maintenance work on the spillway (tainter) gate to comply with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s design requirements.
“There is only one spillway gate at the hydro, so it is imperative that it be maintained according to FERC guidelines,” Miller said.
The drawdown also will allow for an inspection and possible maintenance to the upstream face of the concrete dam structure.
By Sept. 10, the water level will be down and work can begin, according to Xcel officials.
The project should be completed by Sept. 22, depending on weather and construction conditions. The flowage will be partially filled by the end of September in order to maintain the fishery.
Xcel officials say that while the reservoir is drawn down, the public should remember a few items:
Additional Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources law enforcement will be present around the flowages during the drawdown, according to Xcel officials.