Baltimore, bridges, Conowingo, Dams, engineering, fishing, photography, Public Works, water history
My visit into the Conowingo Hydroelectric Plant. Built in about two years time with close to 4,500 men. 1926-1928. Built by the Arundel Corporation. It generates over 13, 000 volts and then steps it up to 220,000. We were not allowed to take photos in the control room but one thing interesting about that was a board that gives real time prices for electricity. The other thing in the control room was – I was asked, very sternly, Do Not Go Back There Or Touch Anything!! Sheesh!
Got there early and looked around. Carved eagle in front. They have a photo contest every year for eagle photos. I didn’t bring a telephoto lens.
Fishermen. How the heck do they not get their lines tangled?? Three turbines on. Roughest water up to the right was a large unit. Two smaller units are on, to the left of guys fishing.
Time to go in and start the tour. Our tour guide is wearing the black hat. A continuous run movie on the building of the dam is playing. There is a nice one on Youtube called Conowingo: Then and Now.
The real tour guide. The photos on the wall are all winners and submissions for the eagle photo contest last year.
One of two fish lifts. This one was used to collect fish and then transport them by truck to hatcheries and fish farms to be released above all the dams (There are a few and about five years ago they all installed real fish lifts so the shad can just go up river to where they are supposed to)
I believe our tour guide said these two generated power to run the plant. It was loud in there.
Where they make electricity. Yellow light on the right wall means – put in your earplugs.
Aerator. It sucks air into the water. The dissolved oxygen drops about 60% from the dam pool to the discharge side, so they add some air to the water.
This little probe, just barely touching the turbine shaft measures for any distortion in the shaft. If it senses some, it will shut down the unit.
Some old gauges.
Spiders! They just cleaned these windows a couple months ago.
Next level above the turbines – generators.
Outside above the catwalk. Years ago, pre 9/11 you were allowed to fish off the catwalk. This is looking down towards Port Deposit.
The tour group. I didn’t know a single one of these people.
Need some lights changed on this sign.
Lonely lamp right before the second fish lift. Do fish need to see to be lifted?
In the very early 1960s I use to fish on that little rise at the bottom of the dam.
Second fish lift. They swim into that lift and are free to swim out at the top. Supposedly there is someone who looks thru a plexiglass window and counts them? Since the other dams have installed lifts, no reason to truck them anywhere.
Starting to get dark out.
Back inside, on the way to the control room. Pit.
Dark outside now, after control room. Guys are still fishing!