Morgantown reservoir project reaches milestone

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Utility Board Flegal Dam and Reservoir project has cleared another milestone.

The dam is complete and final fresh water connections are being prepared, according to MUB Senior Engineer and Assistant General Manager Rich Rogers.

Rich Rogers

The $50 million project began in 2018. Completion of the dam portion has included 1,000,000 cubic yards of earthwork and opens up the next tasks to bring the new fresh water source online.

“The dam is at design elevation at 1,069.5′ or about 70 feet tall and we’re very excited about the being completed,” Rogers said.

Next, the pipes to connect the reservoir with the intake to the raw water main will be completed. The work area for that task is currently under water and Rogers said they’ll temporarily redirect Cobun Creek to make the connection- that is expected to take about two months.

“A pump around, so the water that comes down Cobin Creek is being rerouted up to the spillway that’s been constructed and released so it flows down the spillway and back into the stream,” Rogers said.

While the connection is being made workers will place survey monuments in the dam to measure how it has settled. Rogers doesn’t expect that to take more than three months and believes the two years it has had to settle has reinforced the strength of the clay fill.

“We don’t exactly know how long that will be until they start looking at the numbers,” Rogers said. “We’re hoping around three months and that point filling can start.”

The project hit the drawing board after the 2014 Elk River chemical spill in Kanawha County. That event left as many as 300,000 people in nine counties without fresh water.

“This reservoir gives us an option if something happens in the river to shut that off for a period of up to 30 days with this reservoir,” Rogers said. “That is a big benefit to have that safety measure in place.”

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