In response to the large amount of debris that was flowing into the Corps’ Cochiti Lake from the aftermath of the Las Conchas Fire, the District decided to install 50, 20-foot-long log booms on Nov. 17 to help collect future debris.
The booms are made of foam-filled, 8-inch diameter PVC pipe and are connected by steel cables that run the length of each log and are then connected to anchor bolts on each bank. In addition, two anchors are set within the lake. A 3-foot skirt of galvanized chain link fabric is suspended beneath each log to catch submerged debris.
The booms have been placed across the canyon portion of the lake, approximately half of a mile upstream of the Tetilla boat ramp.
“The log boom will not affect swimming, but it will affect boating,” said civil engineer Lev Bogle of the Maintenance Engineering Unit in the Operations Technical Support Section. “I believe signs will eventually be placed at locations where boaters put into the river, but portaging is possible around the right side of the log boom.”
During periods when no debris is expected to wash into the river, the middle section of the log boom can be removed to provide 200-foot-wide passage for boats.
According to Bogle, it is anticipated that the log boom will be in use for several years, as long as substantial amounts of debris continue to wash down from burned areas. He said the log boom will be removed annually before the lake freezes over and then re-installed before spring run-off.
“It will be inspected regularly by the Cochiti Lake staff, and debris will be removed as it accumulates,” he said.
Bogle also said the Corps is working to inform boating organizations of the location and purpose of the log boom.