COVINGTON, VA- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District will conduct a pulse release at Gathright Dam, near Covington Wednesday, Sept. 20 beginning at approximately 6 a.m. Water releases will gradually increase and peak at 3,500 cubic feet per second by 9 a.m. The maximum surge will last two hours, beginning to gradually decrease at 11 a.m. and return to 220 cfs by 2 p.m.
The public is advised to be aware of river fluctuations caused by the pulse. The pulse is expected to raise the water level downstream in the Jackson River by up to five feet in some sections and up to three and a half feet in the upper James River but will remain several feet below flood stage. In some areas, the rate of the river rise may exceed two feet per hour.
Releases from Gathright Dam are normally at a constant height and flow during this time of year. The pulse release will help control algae growth and improve water quality and habitat in the lower Jackson River. The pulse releases are part of the Low Flow Augmentation project purpose for the Gathright Dam and Lake Moomaw Project to improve the overall water quality and ecological resources in the lower Jackson River. The series of pulses was developed, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.
Please check the releases link below for the 2023 pulse schedule for your awareness.
We will keep you informed of significant water management activities at the Gathright Dam and Lake Moomaw Project.
Website for releases has been updated: https://www.nao-wc.usace.army.mil/nao/projected_Q.html
Website for James River Basin information: https://www.nao-wc.usace.army.mil/nao/jamepub.html
Website for current graphics are located here: https://www.nao-wc.usace.army.mil/nao_plots/MOOMAW.html