Middle River Intake Project

Middle River Intake Project

Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta, California

Contra Costa Water District and the program managers, Carollo Engineers, retained Deere & Ault Consultants, Inc. to prepare planning and final engineering design for a new 250 cfs intake structure and fish screen in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

An expanded view of the Middle River Intake Project’s structure.

The intake structure is sited on the bank of a long, straight section of Victoria Canal with relatively shallow depths, presenting challenges in the design. Balancing the flow to maintain the required fish criteria screen velocity and avoid creating hot spots on the fish screens was of vital importance. The approach velocity requirement was 0.2 feet per second for Delta smelt.

A look along the bank of the Middle River’s intake structure.

The project included a 15,000 hp raw water pumping station and 11,000 feet of pipeline, and had unique aspects such as working with Threatened and Endangered Species, difficult foundation conditions, high ground water, and an active seismic zone. In order to balance the flow and maintain a steady screen velocity across the entire screen face, Deere & Ault developed an innovative set of adjustable louvers to selectively create head loss and force the flow into a more uniform pattern. This was important for both fish passage and the operation of the pumps.
Deere & Ault staff performed a CFD modeling study using CD-adapco’s 3D software for the canal, intake, fish screens and pump entrance conditions as well as hydraulic design of the pumping station and final engineering design of the fish screens, screen cleaning system and screen testing.
Client: Contra Costa Water District
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