The rains return

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Although it didn’t feel like a wet month, April delivered some much-needed, above average rainfall to a drought-ridden Savannah River Basin. Continue reading

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Corps seeks input on future of New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Studies are underway to determine a solution for the future of the New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam, and we are seeking public input. Continue reading

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Corps fights flooding with Ga. Nat’l Guard, City of Augusta for Vigilant Guard ’17

AUGUSTA, Ga. – As a CH-47 Chinook helicopter roared overhead and a company of soldiers worked to protect the city from a rising Savannah River, David Peterson smiled, comfortable in his element.

“This is like Christmas,” said a visibly excited Peterson, chief of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District’s Emergency Management Division. Continue reading

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March deficits contribute to persistent drought

Rainfall last month continued the trend over the last 15 months that’s caused the drought conditions we currently experience. This is especially disappointing since March is typically the wettest month of the year. Continue reading

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SHEP spotlight: DO system

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Contractors with CDM Constructors Inc. are finishing concrete placement for the intake structure on the downriver site of Dissolved Oxygen Injection System. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

The system is one feature in the environmental mitigation for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

As discussed previously on this blog, the DO system will force oxygen into river water via two separate plants using proprietary Speece cones to super-oxygenate water taken from the river and re-introduce it back into the river. The system is designed to provide 40,000 pounds of oxygen per day into the estuary to mitigate for the effects on dissolved oxygen from the harbor deepening.

Here’s a small scale version of how the system operates: 

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office

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Video: SHEP progress update in 2 min or less

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project gained more traction in March.

Several features are on schedule to be completed by the end of 2017, including the First Dike Raising (June); Raw Water Storage Impoundment (July); CSS Georgia Recovery (Sept.); Dissolved Oxygen Injection System (Dec.); and the Sediment Basin Tide Gate Removal (Dec.).

Entrance Channel Dredging, which is currently 53 percent complete, is expected to wrap up in July 2018.

Other features, such as McCoy’s Cut, the New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam Fish Passage and Inner Harbor Dredging are still in the design phase.

Video produced by Jeremy S. Buddemeier, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District. Additional footage courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority, Continental Heavy Civil and Thalle Construction. Music by

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Spring arrived early but forgot to pack rain

February’s rainfall left much to be desired as the sub-basins struggled unsuccessfully to break the two-inch mark.

Thurmond collected the most at a paltry 1.78 inches (41 percent of its average, 4.3 inches), while Hartwell and Russell registered under 40 percent – just 1.77 and 1.64 inches, respectively. Continue reading

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The future of the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam

DSC_0022In December, Congress passed a law which will impact the Savannah River Basin. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, known as the WIIN Act, became public law Dec. 16, 2016. A specific section of this law directly affects the Savannah River just below Augusta. Continue reading

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Contractors on pace to finish 5 SHEP-related features in 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. – To say Spencer Davis has a few irons in the fire is an understatement.

As the senior project manager for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, or SHEP, Davis manages the multimillion-dollar project that has eight separate environmental mitigation features outside of the actual harbor and entrance channel deepening.

Now more than two years in, contractors continue to push the project forward on several fronts and are expected to wrap up five contracts this year. (Click the subheadings below to see photos from these features on our Flickr page). Continue reading

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Drought flow rates changed in February: here’s why

Many of our stakeholders have asked why outflow at Thurmond Dam recently increased from 3,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 4,000 cfs. Let me answer those questions and perhaps shed some light on our operational process.

First some background:
Our water managers only have limited discretion when making operational decisions on Thurmond discharge during drought. They are bound by law to follow the Savannah River Basin (SRB) Water Manual. The Drought Contingency Plan (DCP), a part of this manual, directs discharge volumes at specific lake levels, seasons, and in some cases flow rates of the Broad River. Continue reading

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