PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Ice Prevention at Gaging Station Controls by Aeration

In Reply Refer To:                               August 18, 1989
WGS-Mail Stop 415


SUBJECT:  PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Ice Prevention at Gaging Station
                              Controls by Aeration

The Office of Surface Water, with the assistance of the New York
and North Dakota Districts, conducted a pilot study, "Ice
Prevention at Gaging Station Controls," during the winter of

The technique of bubbling air beneath boats and docks and at
navigation locks to prevent ice formation has been used success-
fully for many years.  This study was to determine if a similar
system would maintain an open-water environment at gaging stations
with artificial or well defined natural controls, thereby improv-
ing the winter data at these stations and indirectly at nearby

Operation of a bubbler system at four test stations resulted in
mixed success during the first winter's operation.  There is con-
siderable promise that with modifications these systems can help
produce good records throughout the winter.  Improvements will be
made to the four test installations before next winter to demon-
strate that a significant improvement in the records can be

The results of this pilot project, thus far, indicate that this
technique can improve the winter discharge record at many gaging
stations.  District offices are encouraged to consider similar
installations.  Anyone considering a system may contact C. Russell
Wagner (601/688-1580) for technical assistance.

                                       Charles W. Boning
                                       Chief, Office of Surface Water

Distribution:  A, B, S, FO, PO