ON THE COVER: Loup Power District Commissions Dredge Pawnee II
The dredge Pawnee II will maintain depth in the Loup Power system, along the Loup Canal. The canal is 35 miles long and diverts water from the Loup River from west of Genoa to a mile below the confluence of the Platte and Loup Rivers. There are two hydroelectric plants – at Monroe and Columbus -- and two regulating reservoirs in the system. Construction of the canal system began in August 1934 and power generation began in March 1937. The District operates five parks and recreation areas along the system, with 265 acres of land and 1,100 acres of water. More than 150,000 people visit these areas every year at no charge.
The Loup Power District, Columbus, Nebraska has replaced its 75-year-old dredge with the Pawnee II, the first dustpan dredge Dredging Supply Company (DSC) has designed and built.
Loup Power district provides electricity to customers in Nebraska’s Boone, Colfax, Nance and Platte counties, and a portion of Madison County. The new dredge removes sand and sediment from settling basins to provide flow to powerhouses at Monroe and Columbus. The dredge was commissioned at Loup’s Genoa Headworks at the end of August 2012, where the process included a thorough inspection of the dredge, and testing all aspects of construction and operation of the vessel. After the Pawnee II passed all tests, it began the late summer dredging season.
DSC manufactured and procured the individual components for the dredge at its plant in Louisiana. The components were then shipped to the Genoa Headworks for the final assembly and commissioning. DSC personnel assembled the dredge and then conducted training for the Loup dredge operators.
The Pawnee II is using the existing ancillary equipment at the headworks, including the pipeline leading to the sand management areas, and the electrical connections for powering the dredge.
The new dredge is more powerful, efficient and reliable than the previous one, allowing a more thorough dredging operation, said a Loup spokesperson. Also, the Pawnee II features state-of-the-art technology for operating, monitoring and record keeping for the dredging operation, he said.