City of Sacramento Drainage Superintendent:
When the pump station at Greenhaven Lake backed up, Rod McCarley, City of Sacramento Drainage Superintendent, could have had a big problem on his hands. However, McCarley wasn't worried. He had an AquaDam® in his warehouse. Before McCarley relied on AquaDams®, as he now does, clearing the basin and repairing damaged flap gates would have required building a dam across the four-foot deep lake. "It would have been quite a dam," McCarley says wryly. In addition, draining the lake would also have killed fish, created turbidity problems, and caused other complications by dumping dirt into water and then removing it.
"Greenhaven is surrounded by $250-to-$400,000 homes. These folks aren't happy if their lake turns brown and muddy while I'm doing my projects," explains McCarley. "With AquaDams® I dropped one in, did my work, let the water back in and pulled the dams. None of those other things went on." In addition, says McCarley, using an AquaDam® cut costs to a fraction of the alternative solutions. "We consider time, cost and environmental issues on these projects," he states.
When the City purchased several AquaDams®, the original intent was to use them for flood control. McCarley says that he now considers the AquaDams® to be vital maintenance tools as well. For instance, since the early 1990s, water quality has been a big issue with the City of Sacramento. According to McCarley, AquaDams® have become invaluable when it comes to containing chemical or diesel spills in creeks and streams. In these situations, the City has placed AquaDams® across the affected water to contain the spills. Using AquaDams® allows crews time to deal with the cleanup.
"AquaDams® have become like our backhoes, or jackhammers. When we need them we get them out and use them," states McCarley. The City of Sacramento Drainage Department owns 10 AquaDams® and has found them to be quite durable considering their sometimes rough handling over the last 10 years. Only one has required replacement. It's the one that was dropped into a 60-inch manhole and then filled with water to stem a sewage leak when nothing else would work. "When you have a 60-inch sewer main running raw sewage everywhere, it's worth eating the cost of an AquaDam®," McCarley admits.
The City's AquaDams® have saved the City substantial money on both equipment and manpower, according to McCarley. In the past, a dewatering problem in a canal meant that crews either built an earthen dam, or constructed a sandbag barrier to block the water flow. Each process requires substantial time, equipment, and manpower. "The time and equipment savings to use AquaDams® in these situations is at least 50%, maybe more," says McCarley. "We look at all the products that are out there, and try to get the most bang for our buck. AquaDams® are just like the other tools we use. They're good ones."