Community Input Helps Utility Narrow Location Options
INDIANAPOLIS – Based on input gathered at neighborhood meetings over the past three months, Citizens Energy Group has selected two possible locations for a proposed rock ramp on the White River in the Riverside Park area. The rock ramp is a stepped structure that would create a pool in the river necessary to ensure water supply to Citizens’ largest water treatment plant.
In 2018, Citizens opened the White River Intake north of 30th Street to ensure water supply to the White River Treatment Plant. The intake can pump water from the river into the adjacent Central Canal, which is the primary source of supply to the White River Plant. The water intake is necessary to ensure water supply to the White River Plant in the event flow on the Central Canal were to be disrupted. Citizens also will use the intake to meet peak water demand during the summer and during drought conditions.
Unfortunately, the intake is now largely unusable for much of the year because the Emrichsville Dam, located south of 16th Street, failed in October 2018, thus eliminating the pool through Riverside Park.
“The loss of the Emrichsville Dam makes the construction of the rock ramp absolutely essential to ensuring we have water supply to our White River Treatment Plant, which supplies 60 percent of the water supply for Indianapolis,” said Jeff Willman, Vice President, Water Operations for Citizens.
Compared to a traditional dam that blocks the river, a rock ramp would create the necessary pool needed for the intake, while allowing for the passage of fish and other aquatic life through the structure. A portage would be constructed around the rock ramp to allow canoers and kayakers to use the river from Broad Ripple down to 16th Street.
To obtain public input on the proposal, Citizens has been meeting over the past three months with city agencies, neighborhood organizations in the Riverside Park area, and other community groups, including Friends of the White River and Reconnecting to Our Waterways. “Our outreach meetings have provided valuable public input that has allowed us to narrow our location options to a site north of 30th Street and another site just south of the boat ramp in Riverside Park,” said Willman. “Upon completion of the public input process, we look forward to finalizing the location for the ramp, so we can begin construction in the summer of 2021.”
Citizens plans to discuss the rock ramp with the community at the Arts and Public Spaces Committee Meeting on Monday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Municipal Gardens, 1831 Lafayette Road; and at the Northwest Quality of Life Meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 6-8 p.m. at Flanner House, 2424 Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., St.