SAFETY--Mandatory Use of Breakaway Sounding Reel Cable Kits

To: "A  - Division Chief and Staff",
        "B  - Branch Chiefs and Offices",
        "FO - State, District, Subdistrict and other Field Offices",
        "PO - Project Offices"
From: "Catherine L Hill, ACH/Operations, Reston, VA "
Cc: "  WRD Archive File,  ",
        "Catherine L Hill, ACH/Operations, Reston, VA ",
        "William G Shope Jr., Chief, Br. of Oper. Support, Reston, VA ",
        "Carole Nethaway, Secretary (OA), Reston, VA ",
        "Alice C Dilandro, Secretary (S), Reston, VA "
Subject: WRD Memo No. 99.01--SAFETY--Mandatory Use of Breakaway Sounding 
          Reel Cable Kits
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 10:58:37 -0400
Sender: "Alice C Dilandro, Secretary (S), Reston, VA "



In Reply Refer To:
Mail Stop 405

                                                October 21, 1998

WATER RESOURCES DIVISION MEMORANDUM NO. 99.01

Subject: SAFETY--Mandatory Use of Breakaway Sounding Reel Cable Kits

To help insure the safety of Water Resources Division (WRD) employees, 
observers, and the public, WRD requires the installation of Breakaway 
Sounding Reel Cable Kits to provide for the quick release of the cable 
from its reel.  Installations shall be completed for all affected reels 
no later then April 1, 1999.  Use of the breakaway device was recommended 
in a March 16, 1998, memorandum from the Assistant Chief Hydrologist for 
Operations.  A-reels not equipped with a drag brake retrofit and A-pack 
reels are exempt from this requirement.  The drag brake retrofit for the 
A-reel is available and may be ordered from the Hydrologic 
Instrumentation Facility (HIF) warehouse.  Use of this retrofit is highly 
recommended.  Because not all A-reels will be equipped with the breakaway 
device, care should be taken in selecting the best reel for the task at 
hand.  

A recent boat accident, which resulted in loss of the boat and exposure 
of the crew to a life threatening risk, could have been prevented with 
the use of a breakaway cable design.  The breakaway cable design for 
sounding reels was developed for situations when debris could lodge on 
the sounding weight (or other equipment) in the water and subject the 
cable to an unmanageable force.  Transfer of such a force to the reel 
structure can cause damage, loss of equipment, and danger to anyone in 
close proximity to the equipment. 

The Instrumentation Technical Advisory Subcommittee has determined the 
predetermined loads for a controlled or designed safe release of the 
cable based on a reduced-diameter section of the cable (at the 
point of attachment on the drum).  The following overload release 
limits are based on the size of the cable:
       
1-Cable Thickness 0.840 inches, release limit 250 lbs.
2-Cable Thickness 1.000 inch, release limit 500 lbs.
3-Cable Thickness 1.125 inch, release limit 500 lbs. 

The Breakaway Sounding Reel Cable Kit (stock number 2302075) and a 
technical information sheet is available for $3.00 from the HIF.  With 
the technical information sheet and the kit, WRD field personnel can 
modify the sounding reel cable so that the cable will break at the 
determined safe load.  Technical information for the Breakaway Sounding 
Reel Cable Kit can be found at the URL:

     http://wwwhif.er.usgs.gov/ofa/tis/brk.html

The drag brake retrofit for the A-reel (stock number 2302018) and 
technical information sheet is available for $360 from the HIF.  
Technical information for the drag brake retrofit kit can be found at the 
URL:

     http://wwwhif.er.usgs.gov/ofa/tis/A55reel.drag.brake.html

Ordering information for the kits can be obtained from the HIF-CSS II 
Manual or the One-Stop Shopping system.  The manual and One-Stop Shopping 
may be accessed form the HIF Home Page at the URL:

     http://wwwhif.er.usgs.gov/uo/

If you have questions regarding the use of the Sounding Reel Retrofit 
Kits, please contact Mike Zalants at (228) 688-1572, or send email to 
mzalants.  If you have any questions concerning the A-Reel Drag Brake 
Retrofit Kit, please contact Jim Jelinski at (228)688-1547 or 
send email to jelinski.


                                       /signed
                                     
                                        Catherine L. Hill
                                        Assistant Chief Hydrologist
                                        for Operations


This memorandum does not supersede any previous WRD memorandum.

Distribution:  A, B, FO, PO