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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 23, 2002

PINE FLAT DAM MODIFIED FOR FISHERIES TEMPERATURE MANAGEMENT

Construction is resuming this week on the turbine bypass at the base of Pine Flat Dam. The project is part of an important Kings River fishery management and enhancement program that the Kings River Conservation District has supported for years with funding and staff assistance.

Completion of the turbine bypass construction is scheduled for later this fall after workers install valves, pipelines and control devices. The project is being administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency that operates and maintains Pine Flat Dam.

"The turbine bypass project is an important element in the overall Kings River effort to improve fishery habitat," said KRCD General Manager David Orth. "It will provide an additional tool in managing temperatures on the river to benefit the fishery." KRCD is the local cost-sharing sponsor with financial support from the Kings River Water Association, California Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Water Resources.

The turbine bypass has been designed to permit water to be released through the penstocks (pipelines) that normally supply water to KRCDís Pine Flat Power Plant's turbines. The bypass is to be used at times when water releases into the Kings River to meet irrigation demands are too low to generate electricity. Such conditions typically occur in the late summer and fall months. The power plant' penstock intakes are at a reservoir elevation midway between Pine Flat Dam' mid- and low-level sluice gates. Thus, the turbine bypass will permit releases of water through the penstock to better manage temperatures in the river fishery below the dam.

The first phase of construction took place last winter and involved a great deal of excavation along with erection of forms and pouring of concrete for the bypass lines and valves foundations. Crews had to make two bores through a concrete wall that protects the power plant from the adjacent Pine Flat Dam spillway. There was extensive backfilling involved.

Construction last winter and again this fall is taking place during the power plantís annual post-irrigation season shutdown. The power plant' 230,000-volt switchyard and its grounding system were required to be out of service during the construction period. The contractor, TNT Industrial Contractors Inc. and the civil works subcontractor, Syblon-Reid, had the plant back in service last February 28, a day earlier than scheduled. The current project is scheduled for completion within two months.

Total project cost, including manufacture of the valves and all design and planning, is expected to be just under $5.4 million.

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Note: Photos available in electronic format upon request. Please contact Cristel Tufenkjian, 559.237.5567. email: ctufenkjian@krcd.org