Preserving the History of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle, Washington

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Pump Out: The Small Lock's Turn

If you are meandering through the Chittenden Locks next week you'll see an amazing sight.

The small lock will be empty! No, they didn't forget to pay the water bill--it is time for the annual inspection, cleaning, and maintenance of the small lock!

Starting at low tide on March 8, the water remaining in the chamber will be pumped out so the lower walls and floor are accessible.

The pumps for this operation are located underneath the Administration Building. If you peek in the basement windows, you may be able to see some of the plumbing for the pumps.

It takes about 4 hours to drain the small lock whereas the large lock (pictured left) requires about 10 hours to pump dry. See previous entries on the Large Lock Pump Out and More Pump Out Pictures.

Barring unforeseen findings, the small lock is scheduled to re-open to boat traffic by March 20.

For current information about the Lake Washington Ship Canal, check out the information from the USACE Seattle District.

Next on the "to-do" list is installation of the smolt flumes on the spillway dam in April and fish ladder cleaning in June.

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