In an earlier post, I focused on Taylor - A Mining Town Condemned. Though once a thriving community of nearly 1,000, concern existed that coal and clay mining in the area was contaminating the Cedar River and the City of Seattle's principal water supply source. Located just a few miles south of Taylor between Hobart and Ravensdale is Landsburg where the diversion dam, an intake canal, settling basin and gatehouse were built across the Cedar River in 1899 to supply Seattle's growing water needs. This turned out to be quite a public works project as can be seen in the following photos.
The above photo shows the headworks under construction.
The above photo shows the intake diversion dam underconstruction. The two holes you see in the brick structure divert flow into pipe that ultimately extends the 29 miles to Seattle.
Additional expansion occurred in 1930, further increasing the size of the transmission pipe. Now that's what I call big pipe, especially for the time! I wonder if the shift from clay pipe to concrete pipe had occurred about then?
The adverse consequence of this new dam was that it effectively blocked salmon spawning on a prime 17 mile segment of the river further upstream. Correcting this and providing fish passage upstream has been one of the early priority salmon restoration projects in the Puget Sound region. Quoting from Seattle Public Utilities:
"The construction of Landsburg fish passage facilities at the dam and aqueduct crossing were completed in 2003. The facilities are comprised of four primary components:
1. A full channel, boulder/chute fishway downstream of the aqueduct crossing to provide easy passage over the aqueduct and improved habitat conditions
2. Fish ladder and sorting facility at the diversion dam,
3. Tip-out downstream passage gate to provide safe passage for downstream migrating fish, and
4. Special screens on the municipal water intake to route downstream migrating fish away from the municipal water intake and safely back into the river.
The numbers of fish passing above the dam have generally increased since construction of the passage facilities. Early monitoring suggests that fish are performing well in this new habitat and recolonization is progressing well."
If you have an opportunity, be sure to visit Landsburg where you can connect with the beginning of the Cedar River Trail that can take you all the way to Renton and Lake Washington. We have logged many a mile on this trail and consider it one of our funner jogging and biking trails. The many river crossings also make it a great place to go if you want to observe fall Sockeye salmon runs. Enjoy.