Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

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ol
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Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by ol » Mon May 07, 2012 10:58 am

Not sure if this has been done but, a pretty impressive video...
Vimeo Link

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GaryM
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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by GaryM » Mon May 07, 2012 6:30 pm

Was amazed to read that the reason the dam was breached was because the company operating it were refusing to install a fish pass!
Can't see that ever happening in the UK, EA usually puts them in even there they were never naturally there in the first place, like Conway Falls.
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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by SimonMW » Mon May 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Was amazed to read that the reason the dam was breached was because the company operating it were refusing to install a fish pass!
I don't believe that was the case. They realised that modifying the dam would cost more than simply getting rid of it. At least that was the reason I think that was on the American White Water site.

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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by GaryM » Mon May 07, 2012 10:43 pm

They realised that modifying the dam would cost more than simply getting rid of it.
PacifiCorp has chosen to remove the dam rather than seek fish passage required under a new federal dam license.
OK, maybe on economic grounds, but had it reached the end of it's economic life too?

Interestingly for a dam built in 1913, seems strange that rivers upstream of the dam from company's own data became inaccessible to salmonids in 1990's, does this mean that prior to then there was access for fish which was blocked off?
Also, the forth point highlights increased whitewater recreation, so can't be bad for paddlers either.

Removal of Condit dam is expected to provide the following benefits:

Anadromous salmonids will be provided access of up to 18 miles of White Salmon River mainstem and tributary habitats that have been inaccessible since the early 1990s. Restoration of natural runs of anadromous fish upstream of the project dam is consistent with the fishery management goals of the National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Yakama Nation
Dam removal offers the greatest potential for full utilization of anadromous fish habitat, including habitat inundated by Northwestern Lake, and therefore, full restoration of anadromous salmonids within the White Salmon River basin.
Dam removal will benefit wildlife dependent upon anadromous fish in the area of the river reach upstream of river mile (RM) 3.3.
Dam removal will provide increased whitewater recreation opportunities. Whitewater recreation is an important and popular use of the White Salmon River.
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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by SimonMW » Mon May 07, 2012 10:50 pm

Whitewater recreation is an important and popular use of the White Salmon River.
Not the sort of phrase you hear regarding UK rivers very often!

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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by ion » Mon May 07, 2012 10:58 pm

I suspect you'll find that was a typo in the press release...should read "Early 1900's"

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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by morsey » Tue May 08, 2012 9:04 am

How come they blew it up? Why not release the water and then dismantle? Was that an attempt to disperse the concentration of heavy metals associated with dam sediment!?!

The video man said they are leaving the time lapse cameras in place for a few years, will be interesting to see the way the river recovers.

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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by Voodoo » Tue May 08, 2012 9:20 am

I Thought it was due to the dam being silted up behind the dam if you look at the footage its not that deep compared to the hight of the dam,
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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by Chrace » Tue May 08, 2012 11:00 am

Anyone able to enlighten me on why they didn't release the water in a more controlled way, e.g. over a few weeks, and then make the hole? River banks, vegetation and wildlife must have taken some beating lower down from that release.

Might just be the standard american way to solve problems - blow it up.

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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by morsey » Tue May 08, 2012 11:06 am

That is kind of what I was asking? But the Americans have removed sediment from dams before to stabilise ground water after heavy metal contamination from dams! I thought maybe it was new thinking!?!

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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by Poke » Tue May 08, 2012 11:29 am

Chrace wrote:Anyone able to enlighten me on why they didn't release the water in a more controlled way, e.g. over a few weeks, and then make the hole? River banks, vegetation and wildlife must have taken some beating lower down from that release.
More information here: http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 17#p593917
Apparantly there were three dams requiring removal. Paraphrasing, they used a different method to get rid of each one, partly to research the best way of removing dams in the future. This one was just the most visually impressive...

Personally I like Chrace's theory though...
Chrace wrote:Might just be the standard american way to solve problems - blow it up.
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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue May 08, 2012 1:10 pm

I think there was discussion on dam removal techniques the last time we were offered a video of a blown up dam. I'm sure it came down to being the most environmentally beneficial.

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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by Chrace » Tue May 08, 2012 5:03 pm

I still think they just want to blow up stuff, I just can't get into my head that there is not better alternatives to C4.

Here is an older example of the American style environmentally correct way of doing things.

If it looks good on TV, it must be right.

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Re: Explosive breach of a Dam on the White Salmon River

Post by ion » Tue May 08, 2012 7:01 pm

Chrace wrote:I still think they just want to blow up stuff, I just can't get into my head that there is not better alternatives to C4.

Here is an older example of the American style environmentally correct way of doing things.

If it looks good on TV, it must be right.
Perhaps some historical perspective on blowing stuff up (and then Napalming it) being bad for the environment.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... epwater-bp

Besides, take pride in the UK, "Invented here first"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCRIsjJFRNo

Or you could just read the original thread, follow the links and learn a bunch about pioneering science and engineering on the subject of dam removal.

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