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Publication Abstract

Aeration Characteristics of Flow Release Controls on Illinois Waterway Dams Butts, Thomas A. , and Ralph L. Evans, 1980  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS C-145    Full Text Available

The main stem of the Illinois Waterway from Grafton at its confluence with the Mississippi River to Lockport below Chicago, a length of approximately 300 miles, consists of seven navigation locks and dams and attendant navigation pools. Each pool has historically experienced dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations that fall below Illinois EPA water quality standards. The levels to which the DOs fall in the pools are greatly influenced by the aerating characteristics of the dams that form the pools.

These aeration characteristics were studied during the summers of 1978 and 1979 to 1) calibrate the dams with the British weir equation as a model and 2) evaluate the effects of increased Lake Michigan diversion water on the dam aeration characteristics. The dam aeration coefficients derived varied significantly within a dam, depending upon the mode of operation, and varied greatly between dams. As an example, the aeration coefficient at Dresden Island with the Tainter gates open 1 foot was approximately 2.0, but with 2-foot openings, it dropped to a level of 1.0. However, for openings of 1.5 feet or less at Starved Rock the coefficient averaged only 0.8. Increasing diversion up to 10,000 cfs will not enhance the aeration capabilities of the flow release structures at the dams. On the contrary, under current operating modes, the aeration capability of these structures at the dams above the La- Grange and Alton pools will be significantly lowered by increased flows.

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