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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessing Sedimentation Issues Within Aging Flood Control Dams, Oklahoma

Authors
item Bennett, Sean
item Cooper, Charles

Submitted to: Laboratory Publication
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Since 1948, the USDA-NRCS has constructed over 10,000 upstream flood control dams in 2000 watersheds in 47 states, over two-thirds of these dams have a design life of 50 years. A demonstration project was designed to evaluate technologies, methodologies, and protocols for the cost-effective characterization of sediment impounded by these structures. This report represents the completion of Phase I of the project. Three field sites were examined: Sugar Creek #12 and Sugar Creek #14 located near Hinton, OK, and Sergeant Major #4 located near Cheyenne, OK. Seismic profiles at the Sugar Creek sites show the presence of soft sediment near the bed surface and very few deep sediment layers. Seismic profiles obtained at Sergeant Major #4 show numerous sediment layers 0.1 to 0.5 m thick to depths of up to 1.5 m. Only small proportions of oil and grease are observed. Of the pesticides and PCBs tested, there are no concentrations of major concern. Detectable levels of DDE are observed at the Sugar Creek sites, but poses no health issue. Sedimentation rate at Sugar Creek #12 approaches or exceeds 2.5 cm/yr. Sedimentation rates in Sugar Creek #14 and Sergeant Major #4 are less than 1 cm/yr. This investigation will be used as a guide for the assessment of the 2000 USDA-NRCS flood control dams currently in need of rehabilitation.

Technical Abstract: Since 1948, the USDA-NRCS has constructed over 10,000 upstream flood control dams in 2000 watersheds in 47 states, over two-thirds of these dams have a design life of 50 years. Because of population growth and land-use changes with time, sediment pools are filling. A demonstration project was designed to evaluate technologies, methodologies, and protocols for the cost-effective characterization of sediment. This report represents the completion of Phase I of the project. Three field sites were examined: Sugar Creek #12 and Sugar Creek #14 located near Hinton, OK, and Sergeant Major #4 located near Cheyenne, OK. Seismic profiles at the Sugar Creek sites show the presence of soft sediment near the bed surface but very few deep horizons. Seismic profiles obtained at Sergeant Major #4 show numerous sediment horizons 0.1 to 0.5 m thick to depths of up to 1.5 m. Sediment samples were obtained and analyzed for select pesticides and PCBs, oil field contaminants, and Cesium. General analysis of oil and grease shows the presence of only small proportions of this contaminant. Of the pesticides and PCBs tested, there are no concentrations of major concern. Detectable levels of DDE are observed at Sugar Creek #12 and Sugar Creek #14, yet DDE, a metabolite of DDT, poses no health issue. Preliminary results of analysis for Cesium indicate that at Sugar Creek #12 sedimentation rate approaches or exceeds 2.5 cm/yr. Sedimentation rates in Sugar Creek #14 and Sergeant Major #4 are less than 1 cm/yr. This investigation will be used as a paradigm for the assessment of the 2000 USDA-NRCS flood control dams currently in need of rehabilitation.

Last Modified: 4/22/2014
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