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Putah Creek (Solano County, CA) Percolation Dam Removal

After several years of efforts to present and explain the project to the community, the old Percolation Dam in the center of the City of Winters has been removed. Congratulations to Rich Marovich, Streamkeeper for the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee, and to Solano County Water Agency for making the dam removal a reality in 2009.

The next phase of the Winters Putah Creek Park design is currently nearing initiation in August of 2011. Stabilization work is scheduled along approximately one mile of Putah Creek surrounding the old perc dam. New inset floodplain benches will be constructed from the elevated sediment deposit found along the edge of the channel. The elevated mounds will be lowered to supply the fill material and "narrow" the channel width significantly. Non-native invasives such as Himalayan blackberry and arundo have caused massive accumulations of fine sediment and reduced overall floodway conveyance.

By restoring the channel to a more appropriate configuration and replanting the new floodplain elevation with native grasses, the flood capacity of the channel is improved and the riparian diversity is restored. Below is a photo of the old perc dam shortly after installation. The expected benefits of additional groundwater recharge were never realized and the dam suffered severe damages during peak runoff events.

The second photo is taken upstream near the Dry Creek confluence to depict the type of channel improvements that have been implemented in the past few years (Dry Creek Confluence Project, 2007).


Percolation dam at Winters, CA 2/15/1955


Putah Ck below Dry Ck - post project 5/25/2011

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Nevada completed Big Warm Springs
Little Warm Springs
Edwards Creek Kirtch Wildlife
Management Area
Lockes Ranch West Fork
Walker River
West Fork
Walker Creek
Check Dams
Ruby Lake National
Wildlife Refuge
Oregon Completed Projects Sprague River Cole Property Oregon - Proposed Projects Sprague River