Good News! We’ve resolved the problem of the uncontrolled limited release of water flowing toward and down the Terror River. The leak was a failed vacuum relief valve, as we suspected.
It initially appeared that all options to fix the leak were going to be very expensive and time consuming due to the remote location and winter weather conditions. An outside dive team was brought in, but the leak’s location and the amount of leakage would not allow us to proceed into the depth of the tunnel. Instead, we decided to attack the issue from above, through the frozen ice on the lake top. Our Power Generation employees came up with an ingenious solution to the problem – dropping large plastic disks through the intake valve through the trash rack grates to log jam the disks on the leak. They set to work in designing, crafting and testing the disks.
We enlisted the aid of St. Denny Surveying to locate the spot directly above the intake valve in the ice over Terror Lake on January 9. Extreme weather and snowy conditions prohibited us from proceeding until January 14, when we were able to erect a snow tent, saw out a 2 foot by 6 foot hole in the lake’s ice, and enable Mark Blakeslee to insert an underwater camera. Our crew then used halibut poles to release the disks into the water, dropping them at the precise location. Fifteen disks in all were released by the end of the day on January 15, when it was very clear that the disks had plugged the leak. We were then able to enter the tunnel and repair the leaky valve.
“Our crew did a wonderful job,” said Lloyd Shanley, Manager of Power Generation. “Their tremendous creativity, hard work, and dedication is something that our members can all be proud of.” Lloyd added his appreciation for Maritime Helicopters, St. Denny Surveying, and Mark Blakeslee. “It’s really great when you can utilize KEA and Kodiak resources to come up with a solution to a very difficult problem.”