Lost Creek - Part 2

“Serious problems cannot be dealt with at the level of thinking that created them.”  Albert Einstein


1504 Ann Arbor Drive

Norman, Oklahoma 73069-5363

Contact Us:

Phone: 405-620-2004

E-mail: russ@riverman-engineering.com

After we were done the watershed received significant amounts of rain. Surprise. Surprise.  The water got well out of the banks and inundated the floodplain on more than one occasion.

Upstream reach (August, 1998).

Middle reach (August, 1998).

“I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water . . . has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river.”

                                                                                                                                    Roderick Haig-Brown

As of March 26, 1998 Lost Creek through the Santa Fe Elementary School in southeast Oklahoma City, Oklahoma had been converted from a G6/F6 straightened ditch into a meandering C6/E6 stream with two wetland ponds and a step-pool B2.

It was time to break the dam and let Lost Creek flow again.  We had several teachers and students out to witness the return of flow to their Lost Creek.  It was an emotional moment for me as they chanted, “Russ, Russ, Russ.”

Looking upstream, (Feb., 1996).

Looking upstream, (March 26, 1998).

Constructed wetland on March 26, 1998.

Breaking the dam (March 26, 1998).

Flow in Lost Creek (March 26, 1998).

Flow into the step-pools (March 26, 1998).

Flow down the step-pools (March 26, 1998).

The students might have chanted for me, but many people deserve much of the credit including, the crew, Troy, Billy, Elijah, Charlie and David, Marcie, Jeni, Mr. Gibbs, and many others from Santa Fe Elementary School, Gary Chance and the crew with the Moore School District, Chris, Leonard, John and others from OCCWQ, and Wayne Fjeseth of the NRCS Norman Field Service Center.  Finally, the students themselves also deserve credit as they planted grass seed and put in willow stakes.  Thanks to  each and every one of you.

The Lost Creek crew (March 26, 1998).

Jeni Ward and students planting grass seed.

Students planting willow stakes.

Less than a month after completing construction, the watershed experienced a severe thunderstorm producing significant rainfall.  The flow in the channel exceeded the bankfull discharge and flowed out onto the newly constructed floodplain.  Overall the project did fairly well, but the downstream end around the step-pools   suffered some fairly significant damage.  At the end of a long drought period, repair efforts were undertaken on August 13, 1998.  The pictures below show what the site looked like at that time.

Upstream reach (March 27, 1998).

Middle reach (March 27, 1998).

Root wad, vanes and willows (March 27, 1998).

Step-pool (March 27, 1998).

Root wad, vanes and willows (August, 1998).

Constructed wetland (August, 1998).

Step-pool (August, 1998).

Step-pool (August, 1998).

The repair efforts involved moving boulders around to minimize the gap size between them.  Gravel was brought in and washed into the structures in an attempt to seal the gaps to minimize was-through of finer materials.  The step-pool slope was also re-contoured and prepared for sod planting.

Unfortunately, before the sod planting could occur, another major storm hit the watershed (4 inches in two hours) .  Once again, the step-pool slope was severely damaged, eroding a significant amount of material into the downstream culvert, and one of the step-pools was slightly impacted.  Encouragingly however, the other step-pool functioned properly and the rest of the project functioned exceptionally well.

A second repair effort was therefore made on October 15, 1998 to repair the effected step-pool and the step-pool slope.  The step-pool repair again concentrated on repositioning the boulders and sealing them with the gravel.  The material was removed from the downstream culvert, and the step-pool slope was re-contoured and immediately planted using 8,000 sqft of sod.  Approximately 100 willows were planted on the downstream side of the central wetland pond.  All of the employees of OCCWQ and Jeni Ward of the Santa Fe Elementary School participated in this day of fun in the sun.

Damage to step-pool slope (Sept, 1998).

Damage to step-pool (Sept, 1998).

Sediment in downstream culvert (Sept, 1998).

Sediment removal (October, 1998).

Sod planting (October, 1998).

Step-pool reach after repair (October, 1998).

High water (November, 1998).

High water (February, 1999).

High water (February, 1999).

High water (November, 1998).

To see how the project has responded and learn the rest of the Lost Creek story go to Lost Creek 3.

Phone: 405-620-2004

E-mail: russ@riverman-engineering.com

“The song of the river ends not at her banks but in the hearts of those who have loved her.”

                                 Buffalo Joe

Lost Creek - 1

Lost Creek - 2

Lost Creek - 3

Lost Creek - 4