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The Wier Dam is located in Bristol TN, Handicap accessible viewing area of the S. Holston Weir Dam,,,,,,,,,,,Please be sure to take the time to e-mail your answers and post your photo within 7 days of your log or your log will be deleted as this is a requirement to obtain this earth cache. Hope you have enjoyed this earthcache.
Have you ever visited this area and wondered just what these things were? When power is being generated they make for a beautiful waterfall. What you may not realize is the important ecological role the weir dams play.
This area was ecologically damaged prior to the installation of the weirs. If the Tennessee Valley Authority was not generating power at the hydroelectric facility upstream, this area often had little to no water. As a result the animal and plant life was very limited. Adding to the problem was the water that had very little dissolved oxygen content since it was being drawn from deep water at South Holston Dam.
Why was the oxygen content low? During summer months the water in deep tributaries separate into two layers. The surface area is warm and rich in oxygen while the lower layer is cold and is low in oxygen content. These two layers do not mix due to the temperature difference. Over time the oxygen in the lower layer is used up by decaying organic material. By the end of the summer the oxygen in the lower layer could be completely depleted and it is not replenished due to the two layers not being able to combine.
In 1991 work began to improve the quality of plant and animal life along the Holston River. The weir dams were built and special equipment was added to the hydropower dams to increase the dissolved oxygen content in the water before releasing it to the Holston River. The weirs serve an important purpose in keeping the river flowing even during off generation periods. During the off period the weir dams hold back the water and a steady flow of water is released from pipes located along the weirs.
The ecological impact has been amazing over the years. The number and variety of aquatic animals and plants has dramatically increased over the years due to the constant flow of water and also the available oxygen in the water. This has turned the Holston River into a trout fisherman’s paradise and this body of water is now considered to be the best brown trout streams in the Southeastern U.S.
The efforts of the TVA has increased dissolved oxygen levels in more than 300 miles of river downstream of TVA dams and improved water flow in 180 miles of river. These changes have resulted in significant growth in tailwater fish and aquatic life.
To claim a find, visit the kiosk informational board at the above coordinates. There is a wealth of information on the weirs, fish and plant life of the river, as well how the weirs has impacted the area. Take the time to read the information and e-mail me with the answers to the following questions:
1. What are the minimum flow rates? There are two sets listed so please include both of the minimum flow rates in your e-mail.
2. How tall are the Wier walls?
3. How many times a day do the turbines pulse?
Also post a pic of you and your gps at the weirs viewing area that is about 15’ from the kiosk.
This is a beautiful public access area with much to enjoy. It is open to the public from daylight to dark. Bring your bike, fishing pole, or even a picnic lunch and enjoy the day.
(No hints available.)