Valve Repair at the Barney Reservoir:
Repairing distribution system valves is a pretty standard exercise for water operators – except when the valve that needs repaired is located 60 feet underwater at the bottom of a lake.
In fall 2011, Barney Reservoir, one of two reservoirs that provide summertime water to Joint Water Commission member agencies and their wholesale customers, was purposely drained to its lowest level in over 12 years to allow for repairs both above and below the water. It was a slow-going process, not unlike draining a bathtub, that began in April and took over five months to accomplish.
Engineering and operational staff worked with contractors and divers to perform the repairs and maintenance work. Replacement of three hydraulic cylinders took place out of water, but divers were able to make other repairs and perform inspection beneath the surface, once the water was lowered to a more accessible level for longer dive times. Diving in high altitudes like the coast range is tricky, and much different than diving at sea level.
The project was completed and the reservoir filled again to capacity by spring 2012. At the latest inspection, the State inspector said that the dam continues is in excellent condition and is properly maintained.
Click here to view a pictorial slide show and learn more about the highly-coordinated project.