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EBMUD USES GROUND-BREAKING TECHNOLOGY TO PROTECT FISH

 OAKLAND, Calif., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A giant cone-shaped oxygen diffuser will be placed on the bottom of the East Bay Municipal Utility District's Camanche Reservoir next week to improve water quality for fish in the lake and the Mokelumne River below. The two-story "Speece Cone," named after its designer, Vanderbilt University Professor Richard Speece, is part of a system designed to provide cool, oxygen-rich, hydrogen sulfide-free water to enhance the aquatic environment in the Mokelumne River downstream of Camanche.
 The pilot project is designed to increase oxygen in the "hypolimnion," the colder bottom layer of water in the lake. EBMUD draws from this lower layer to supply cool water to a fish hatchery below Camanche Dam and to provide downstream releases for fish and other uses. This is the largest Speece Cone oxygenator ever built. It is also the first to be used in a deep lake to oxygenate lower waters while maintaining lake stratification.
 Camanche Reservoir, located in the Sierra foothills, normally forms warm upper water layers and a cold bottom layer in spring and summer. Decaying organisms and plant material near the lake bottom consume oxygen. When oxygen is absent, this decay may produce hydrogen sulfide, which is toxic to fish.
 Each November, water temperatures at the top and bottom of the lake become almost equal, causing the layers to mix. This destratification can occur even earlier when the lake is low, producing waters too warm for salmon and other cold-water fish. EBMUD's new technology is compatible with the natural stratification cycle and should keep water healthful for fish even during droughts when low oxygen and hydrogen sulfide are particular problems.
 EBMUD decided to apply a Speece Cone oxygenator to this use because studies showed the system has good prospects for success without harmful environmental impacts. If successful during its three-year trial, the project may be expanded.
 Installation of the 23-foot-high Speece Cone and a 150-foot-long linear diffuser on the reservoir bed will occur about 350 feet from the dam. A 13,000-gallon liquid oxygen storage tank and evaporator will be located onshore. Oxygen gas will be piped to the Speece Cone where it will be mixed with water. The system will use up to 27,000 pounds of liquid oxygen a day and will operate continuously for up to six months a year, from May until normal lake destratification in November. Construction costs will total $1.2 million.
 Camanche Reservoir, with a capacity of 417,120 acre-feet, is the largest District reservoir and the only one which does not provide drinking water for the East Bay. It stores water for irrigation and provides flood control and water to meet the needs of agriculture and other downstream water rights holders. An EBMUD-owned hatchery at the foot of Camanche Dam is operated by the state Department of Fish and Game to raise Chinook salmon and steelhead trout which are planted downstream.
 -0- 6/17/93
 /CONTACT: Annette Oliveira of EBMUD, 510-287-0143, or home, 510-653-7596/


CO: East Bay Municipal Utilities District ST: California IN: SU:

TB-TM -- SF017 -- 3368 06/17/93 20:18 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 17, 1993
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