Water up but new intake going down

Things are looking brighter in Emo these days as the river level climbed about 20 inches above the municipality’s water intake with all the recent rain.
It had been only two inches above the intake.
But that hasn’t curbed plans to drop in another intake closer to shore where the water is about five feet deep (it was 39 inches deep at the current intake) in an effort to ensure a municipal water supply if the river freezes solid this winter.
“We’re still going to change it,” Reeve Brian Reid said yesterday, noting work would begin as soon as the materials were in.
The plan, estimated to cost around $2,000, will see a pipe “T” off from the current gravity-feed line, with the new intake to sit about 18 inches off the bottom of the river.
“It’s the cheapest little safeguard we can come up with,” Reeve Reid explained, adding the current intake would remain where it is.
While recent rains have brought the river level up, Reeve Reid noted they’ll be dealing with the same low-water problem once it stops.
“This will be a relatively short-term effect. The flow will fall off unless we have more rain to keep it coming,” agreed Rick Walden, engineering advisor with the Rainy Lake Board of Control.
“We’ve recovered some but we’ve still got a long way to go,” he said.
Meanwhile, the rain of the past week has caused Rainy Lake to rise about two cm while Namakan Lake is up five cm. But given Rainy is one metre under its operating band, and Namakan 34 cm, a lot more rain is needed to make a real impact.
Compared to the lakes, though, the river has picked up dramatically thanks to its tributaries. At Manitou Rapids, for instance, the flow has jumped to 150 cubic metres per second from 100 cubic metres per second.
In related news, Walden noted the outflow from Rainy Lake would remain at 75 cubic meters per second.
“We’re just holding at that for the moment,” he added, noting they expected the net inflows to the lakes to drop again once the rain stopped.