The Widows Creek projects began with an invitation in April of 2007 from the ODFW John Day Screen Shop to evaluate the potential for installing Farmers Screens as a replacement for the three screens that were in place at the time. In April of 2009, FCA worked with the ODFW John Day Screen Shop and Aquatic Contracting to install three modular Farmers screens on the three diversions on Widows Creek.
The three Farmers Screens installed on Widows Creek, near Mt. Vernon, OR have provided FCA with the opportunity to learn a number of valuable lessons. Because of a number of operational issues, this project has been one of FCA’s most valuable in terms of knowledge gained. Through three years of monitoring and on-site meetings, FCA, ODFW, and BPA were able to identify operational issues, their causes, and develop solutions to implement. The valuable lessons learned at the Widows Creek sites have shaped not only the current screen design, but also FCA’s approach to developing projects.
To address these issues, over the past three years, ODFW, FCA, and BPA have worked together to conduct training sessions and distribute operation manuals to all operators of the system, regularly monitor the system, and modify the screens with enhanced sediment management systems and overflow pipes. Some of the issues have been resolved, but some still remain. As a result of these efforts, screen dewatering and sediment build up are no longer occurring. The remaining challenges center on improper operation of the screens, with by-pass flows being blocked or restricted due to low stream flows.
To learn more about how this project changed some of the ways we approach new projects, please visit our Lessons Learned page.